The advert, which appeared in Taxi magazine, appears to show a cyclist on the ground after being hit by a black cab

Taxi ad

A taxi insurance advert showing a cyclist lying on the floor, apparently having been hit a black cab, has been branded ‘inflammatory’ and ‘in bad taste’.

The advert, by Westminster Insurance, which appeared in Taxi, the London Taxi Drivers Association’s members magazine, last year, shows a man dressed as a barrister pointing at the cyclist while he lays on the floor in front of the vehicle.

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Personal injury lawyer specialising in cycling injuries, Paul Kitson, of Slater & Gordon, said the ad is in poor taste, and fuels a two tribes mentality.

Kitson said: “Cyclists and taxi drivers often don’t enjoy a good relationship on the roads and it fuels the mentality of blame and ‘two tribes’ and I thought it in rather bad taste. The guy on the ground has been hit by a taxi, and the driver and a man dressed as a barrister are pointing at him rather than saying: ‘are you alright?’, which is bad form really.”

He pointed out camera evidence is helpful in establishing what actually happened following a collision, information which can be invaluable in both criminal and civil courts.

He added: “There are better ways of encouraging people to take evidence, rather than using an inflammatory advert like this.”

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Sam Jones, CTC Campaigns Coordinator, said: “While the poster appears bias and discriminatory on multiple levels, the reality is that a camera can convict either party. It is sad that cyclists and drivers feel the need to resort to cameras for want of better road policing, which CTC strongly supports through our Road Justice Campaign.”

A spokesman for Taxi said he is unable to comment on whether or not it will appear in the magazine again.

Westminster Insurance did not respond to a request for comment.

  • fg

    It is anti-cyclist. It is anti-human. It is suggesting that it is acceptable not to help people even if they are lying on the road after being knocked down.

  • fg

    How often does it happen that a taxi driver loses his livelihood because of a collision with a cyclist that was the cyclist’s fault? Has it ever happened?

    How often are cyclists victims of aggressive driving by taxi drivers?

    Anyway, the attitude portrayed in this advert is @@@@@ insane. If someone is hurt, you help them.

  • fg

    There is no “we” or “us”. Just because somebody else rides a bicycle, that does not make me accountable for his acts of stupidity any more than it makes him accountable for mine.

  • Adam Beevers

    We’re all being racist by using the term ‘black’ or ‘coloured’, even though no offence is meant. We should be using the term ‘African-British’.

    From a Anglo-Saxon British male. (hmmm…is male politically correct?)

  • TG

    No point for the cyclist having a camera, as the cab has no number plates!! And what’s that bloke doing walking down the street with a wig on?

  • briantrousers

    There are several issues with this article. Firstly, it’s not an “anti-cycling” advert, it’s for insurance. Secondly, why the knee-jerk reaction that this discriminates against cyclists/perpetuates the myth that all cyclists are reckless just because it shows a cyclist lying in the road? Also you might like to think about why a taxi driver would want to install a camera if their hobby is to drive round deliberately knocking people off their bikes. It works both ways here as another correspondent has pointed out. If cyclists are taking up cameras, why shouldn’t other road users?

    Is it poorly staged? Yes. Does it look cheap and ridiculous? Yes. Could it have been better thought through? Yes. Do innocent commuters get knocked off their bikes by idiots in cars? Yes. Do some cyclists ride like tw*ts and cause accidents? Yes.

  • Peter Fisher

    Perhaps this is a dual dig at the reality for young black people in the barrister profession?

  • Guest

    What about when the cyclist is in the wrong? You’re automatically assuming that the cyclist is blameless and that the fault lies with the driver, where in fact it could be that the cyclist was careless. If the taxi driver loses his livelihood over a non-fault accident, where is the fairness in that? I think that’s the point that’s trying to be made about why it’s handy to have a camera installed, so there is a record of a true representation of events.

    Cyclists are sometimes adorned with cameras when they’re on the roads to highlight poor driving, and this is the same concept just the other way around.

    The issue isn’t the advert, it’s the righteousness of some cyclists that the driver is always in the wrong and the cyclist is always right, simply because cyclists are more vulnerable road users.

    Sure, the advertisement could have been more sensitive in how it conveyed the message, but the sentiment in itself isn’t offensive, it’s just encouraging taxis to have cameras installed so true representations of events are recorded for when an automatic assumption (i.e. cyclist is always right). doesn’t ring true.

  • Guest

    What about when the cyclist is in the wrong? You’re automatically assuming that the cyclist is blameless and that the fault lies with the driver, where in fact it could be that the cyclist was careless. If the taxi driver loses his livelihood over a non-fault accident, where is the fairness in that? I think that’s the point that’s trying to be made about why it’s handy to have a camera installed, so there is a record of a true representation of events.

    Cyclists are sometimes adorned with cameras when they’re on the roads to highlight poor driving, and this is the same concept just the other way around.

    The issue isn’t the advert, it’s the righteousness of some cyclists that the driver is always in the wrong and the cyclist is always right, simply because cyclists are more vulnerable road users.

    Sure, the advertisement could have been more sensitive in how it conveyed the message, but the sentiment in itself isn’t offensive, it’s just encouraging taxis to have cameras installed so true representations of events are recorded for when an automatic assumption (i.e. cyclist is always right). doesn’t ring true.

  • dourscot

    In fairness, that’s incredibly unlikely.. Their premiums are massive and they’re more worried about the opposite problem of being sued.

    That’s the issue the ad is trying to raise – having a camera helps them defend themselves.

    The ad is a bit tasteless perhaps but let’s not turn black cab drivers into the enemy.There are far far worse road users as far as cyclists are concerned.

  • dourscot

    The two groups even less popular than cyclists – lawyers and taxi drivers.

  • John Philip Hurditch

    Its ok coz when cyclists got his/her camera on the boot can be on the other foot

  • Notice that the cabbie is standing on the passenger side of the vehicle… trying to distance himself from any/all accountability.

  • Bob Smith

    c u n t s!!!

  • fixed

    The cab

  • Hugh Strickland

    The choice in the advert is to sell video cameras and insurance savings by making the mosts of stereotyping. If the lawyer were black it would lessen the point of how awful cyclist really are. Unless you think the advert is just full of random choices and racism is not used in advertising.

  • Randolph Hamster

    I suspect the real motivation is to minimise the massive loss of earnings / passenger injury claims that cabbies routinely put in for any minor bump. But that wouldn’t sell it!

  • Roland Herrmann

    I think this hits the knuckle right next to the head of the nail 🙂 It wouldn’t be racism if the lawyer were black and the cyclist white, or would it?

  • ymisyd

    Why is this racism?

  • Frenchiebike

    Mainland Europe blames the driver every time – here we always blame the cyclist!

  • mac

    This is disgusting.

    If a person is hit by a car, serious injury or death is a likely consequence. That is what should be foremost in peoples’ minds.

  • James B

    Either way, a cabbie will ‘take you for a ride’.

  • Steve Jones

    Not sure that using an ambulance chasing legal scam merchant for a point of view on an insurance claim issue is wise, what message does that send? Ride with a camera and use a reputable lawyer if you feel you need to be compensated as the result of an accident don’t put money in the pockets of dubious legal representation….ever baulked at the cost of insurance? they are the reason.

  • harry smith

    It’s a good representation of how cabbies behave. After someone’s been hurt most normal people would make sure they’re ok, cabbies would try to sue them to get cash.

  • Hugh Strickland

    Notice the cyclist is Black also. this is racism.