Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

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Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby whitey » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:59 am

Hi - first incident with a driver this morning so I am wondering whether its worth reporting to the police.

Basically some tailgating followied by dangerous overtaking, and cutting off. Ended up making slight contact with the car. Could have been a whole lot worse.

I was hoping that if I report this to the police they will give him a call and just explain that cyclists can take a lane legally. Will police help or am I wasting my time??

My heros for the day are the passersby who just started walking up and writing their names/numbers down as witnesses and one guy in particular that went out of his way to calm the situtaion down and help the driver undertsand the seriousness of his actions.
Last edited by whitey on Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:19 am

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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby hannos » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:19 am

Go to the police and report it. Also get the witnesses to report it.

It can't hurt and if you do not report it, you know nothign will be done.


It's technically a road rage incident and you have witnesses supporting your complaint.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby wombatK » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:12 am

hannos wrote:It's technically a road rage incident and you have witnesses supporting your complaint.

+1.

OP has not listed his location in his profile. If he were in NSW, complaint to police would be first step, but also would be very worthwhile making a complaint to NSW Transport. Just like taxi-drivers, there are professional standards that hire car drivers should be observing - and that's clearly not the case here.

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/hirecar/feedback.html

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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby whitey » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:13 am

Well I rang them up and because there was no damage/injuries they arent interested. I might try a walk in to the station tomorrow and hope that face to face they will be less dismissive. Pretty sure he knew he had done the wrong thing and wasnt prepared to admit it so hopefully he will chill a little on the roads.

Ruined a beautiful ride. :(
On a positive note I feel like I kept my cool. :D
Will have to review my riding habits, I possibly could have pulled off the road earlier to a complete halt. But I cant do that every time there is a car behind me :!:
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby hannos » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:14 am

push the issue whitey.
I've walked into my local before and asked if I could make a road rage complaint. The bobbie said yes, by all means!
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby whitey » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:17 am

(AT) WombatK - thanks for the advice I will call them.
(AT) hannos - I'll try again.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby othy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:19 am

Don't bother calling the police, the complaint has to be made in person. They'll just try to talk you out of it on the phone.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby zero » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:57 am

Report it imo - especially if there was contact.

If you are frustrated by lack of action, then ultimately get a camera, mount it visibly from your helmet and watch behavior change.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby sogood » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:00 am

Unless there's witness and objective evidence, there's not much the police can do. If you have the time and desire some kind of record in the police database against that driver, then go ahead. Been through that.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby jules21 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:09 pm

sogood wrote:If you have the time and desire some kind of record in the police database against that driver, then go ahead.

can anyone confirm if such a database really exists? it's been suggested it collectively comprises of the notebooks issued to each member of the force.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby whitey » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:10 pm

zero wrote:Report it imo - especially if there was contact.

If you are frustrated by lack of action, then ultimately get a camera, mount it visibly from your helmet and watch behavior change.


I think thats a likely outcome.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby Oxford » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:48 pm

whitey, try tacking this onto your back, whilst I do have two working on the bike (forward and rear), I'm always amazed at how different the attitudes are between drivers knowing and not knowing. On the odd occasion I have had some people be dicks just to try it on. But on the whole it results in a better more peaceful ride when I have it on my back pack commuting.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:13 pm

whitey wrote:Will have to review my riding habits, I possibly could have pulled off the road earlier to a complete halt. But I cant do that every time there is a car behind me :!:

You probably should have ridden wider to maintain your position in the lane. Pulling left into the gutter is an open invitation for hoons like this to cut you up close.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby jet-ski » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:38 pm

Yeah the people at the call centre are basically there to 'triage' calls and requests for action. If you go to the local, and provide those witness details as well then hopefully the guy will get educated. Do the cops put a note on the guy's license in case he gets caught doing it again?

I knew a guy from highschool who lost his license for yelling at an old man in a car v car road rage incident. He was threatening the old man with a chain or something. Surely threatening someone with the vehicle itself is pretty serious.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby whitey » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:42 pm

il padrone wrote:
whitey wrote:Will have to review my riding habits, I possibly could have pulled off the road earlier to a complete halt. But I cant do that every time there is a car behind me :!:

You probably should have ridden wider to maintain your position in the lane. Pulling left into the gutter is an open invitation for hoons like this to cut you up close.


Hi il padrone - I took your suggested approach, I took the whole lane as I knew it was too narrow to ride left. He ended up overtaking me on the left as the road widened at the roundabout. To be honest I reckon this guy is an accident waiting to happen. Karma catches up with people like this, just hope he doesnt take a cyclist out when it does.

I am gonna look into a camera for the bike so at least if there is a next time I have some evidence. I am looking forward to my next ride. :D
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby Oxford » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:58 pm

whitey wrote:Hi il padrone - I took your suggested approach, I took the whole lane as I knew it was too narrow to ride left. He ended up overtaking me on the left as the road widened at the roundabout. To be honest I reckon this guy is an accident waiting to happen. Karma catches up with people like this, just hope he doesnt take a cyclist out when it does.

I am gonna look into a camera for the bike so at least if there is a next time I have some evidence. I am looking forward to my next ride. :D
If that doesn't work "snake" the road. By that I mean stand on the pedals and rock the bike side to side snaking a path on the road, doesn't have to be wide even just 10 or 20 cms of side to side with the wheels makes you look like you need the space and creates doubt in their mind. I use this method very effectively when I think a driver is going to try and shave my legs with their car.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:40 pm

Not sure how you manage to stand on your 'bent Oxford. :wink:

It's a great idea tho'. If you look like an unsteady n00b they seem to give you more room. I don't get why tho', they don't seem to mind scratching their somokeboxes up as long as it's on their terms :?
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby zero » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:44 pm

jet-ski wrote:I knew a guy from highschool who lost his license for yelling at an old man in a car v car road rage incident. He was threatening the old man with a chain or something. Surely threatening someone with the vehicle itself is pretty serious.


In NSW there is an anti road rage law known as predatory driving. As its a criminal offence, would need a high standard of evidence to get a result. Riders word vs drivers word won't cut it, because the driver will surely be represented by a lawyer in court.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby jules21 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:47 pm

zero wrote:In NSW there is an anti road rage law known as predatory driving. As its a criminal offence, would need a high standard of evidence to get a result. Riders word vs drivers word won't cut it, because the driver will surely be represented by a lawyer in court.

yeah - as a rule, it's almost always the more serious the penalty, the more evidence you need to prove the charge.

it's a trade off, makes it harder to get tough on these behaviours. that's why a lot of cyclists want strict liability laws for being hit by cars.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby Ross » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:06 pm

whitey wrote: Ended up making slight contact with the car.


Isn't that hit and run? Surely the cops have to take that seriously and at least file a report?
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby high_tea » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:28 pm

jules21 wrote:
zero wrote:In NSW there is an anti road rage law known as predatory driving. As its a criminal offence, would need a high standard of evidence to get a result. Riders word vs drivers word won't cut it, because the driver will surely be represented by a lawyer in court.

yeah - as a rule, it's almost always the more serious the penalty, the more evidence you need to prove the charge.


News to me. Last I looked, the standard was beyond reasonable doubt for all criminal offences.

But yeah, cops seem reluctant to pursue anything without corroboration. Easier to stick to DUI and speeding where all those pesky evidential issues don't come up. Can't say as I'm wild about it, but there you go.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby jules21 » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:02 pm

high_tea wrote:
jules21 wrote:yeah - as a rule, it's almost always the more serious the penalty, the more evidence you need to prove the charge.


News to me. Last I looked, the standard was beyond reasonable doubt for all criminal offences.

ok, so i'm not a lawyer, but i was under the impression that if you charged someone with murder, say, there seems to be a higher burden of proof on eliminating reasonable doubt, than for say, a criminal road rage offence. if it's a summary (non-criminal) offence - the most common for discretions against cyclists, then the burden is even less.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby high_tea » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:32 pm

jules21 wrote:
high_tea wrote:
jules21 wrote:yeah - as a rule, it's almost always the more serious the penalty, the more evidence you need to prove the charge.


News to me. Last I looked, the standard was beyond reasonable doubt for all criminal offences.

ok, so i'm not a lawyer, but i was under the impression that if you charged someone with murder, say, there seems to be a higher burden of proof on eliminating reasonable doubt, than for say, a criminal road rage offence. if it's a summary (non-criminal) offence - the most common for discretions against cyclists, then the burden is even less.


I think I see what you're getting at. Some offences are much easier to make out, that's certainly true.

Although murder and speeding both must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. There are some things that make speeding easier to prove - specific evidential provisions for speed camera readings, no element of fault/intent.

So yeah, I can see how you'd say some offences need less evidence than others.
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby The Womble » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:09 pm

Glad youre ok Whitey. Sounds like it couldve been a whole lot worse. Also glad youre going to report this as they WILL do this again and sooner or later it could be fatal for one of us.
Can I just point out (just coz it was on the radio as a topic that made me laugh last week) that it was a near miss because you actually did hit the car :D
if you hadnt hit the car it wouldve been a near hit. A near miss implies that you dont miss something at all. I like it :P
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Re: Worth reporting a (very) near miss to the police?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:26 pm

jules21 wrote:
sogood wrote:If you have the time and desire some kind of record in the police database against that driver, then go ahead.

can anyone confirm if such a database really exists? it's been suggested it collectively comprises of the notebooks issued to each member of the force.

In NSW the system is called COPS, and the cops give you an incident number.
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