Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
I have just as much right as any other person, so get back in your box!!
This is a person who has deliberately ignored the law and as a result they have been involved in a accident. They are now wanting to claim compensation, if they were not breaking the law in the first place the accident would never have happened.
I would wonder if the version of events is in fact true, it maybe that the postie did nothing wrong at all.
And the fact that the OP may have been illegally present is neither here nor there as far as the posties action is concerned. The postie in this instance as described was a hazard to kids legally there as well. Getting to ride a MC on paths is a practical privilege that has certain obligaations attached to it.
Not that I am dark at posties - but a mistake is a mistake and should not be obfuscated by other considerations.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
According to the OP, he was stationary with a foot down at time of collision ie NOT cycling on the footpath. Does his behaviour prior to the hit bear much relevance?
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I'd say it'd contribute - even riding slowly a bike is going to cover more ground than a pedestrian, so the bike could have 'come out of nowhere' if the postie was only looking a little way ahead.
You're being ridiculous. That's like saying motorists have a carte blanche to mow down j-walking pedestrians - they are breaking the law afterall. The fact the OP was in the wrong does not waive the postie's obligation to drive his moto in a responsible manner.
Given that the law looks at things systematically and cause and effect, before apportioning blame, my opinion for what its worth is:
The facts behind the 'accident' would appear to be that the cyclist was in fact stationery on a bike so was not in the act of riding it at the time - effectively a pedestrian..
The Postie, on his motorbike then collided with stationary person (with/on a bike) but not riding (or moving).
Therefore the actual cause of the accident would appear to be entirely the fault of the motorcyclist, failing to avoid that person (who could have been a child etc, with grave consequences, as others have posted).
That being the case it is probably entirely immaterial how the cyclist arrived at that point prior to the accident.
Even if the cyclist had been cycling slowly it may well still be that it is entirely the motorcyclist's fault, even if they are allowed to use the path.
It is only once the cause and fault of the accident are determined that mitigating factors would be taken into account.
It is unlikely that the cyclist riding on the path (slow or stationery) would mitigate the posties actions and consequences.
However, the cyclist might be liable for penalty, as an entirely independent legal action. There is, however, a good argument for the cyclist.
A little known, but a quite plausible defence would be the fact that, despite what the law may imply, it is not illegal to ride on a footpath because most footpaths are in fact shared paths even if not intended or designated!
Now it gets interesting! Rule 250 says:
So this means that most persons over 12th birthday should not ride on a footpath, but some are permitted to (under 12yo and a, b, and c) and many others do ride anyway - just observe how many actually do.
Now the really good bit! From rule 242, the definition of a Shared Path is:
Now this bit is very important:
is NOT dependant on any signage. AND, the very rule (250) that makes it an offence for some over 12's to ride on a footpath also provides that
is by other cyclists (as specifically permitted in the rule) and all that do use it even if they should not have!
The conclusion, therefore, is that (almost all) footpaths are actually shared paths (under the very definition in the code) unless they have been signed otherwise. This is not just my opinion but a lawyers interpretation of the WA Road Traffic Code which is very similar in its definitions to the NSW 'Road Rules 2008' from which the above quotes are sourced.
The OP would therefore, seem to have actually been riding lawfully on a footpath (providing it was done with the degree of due care and attention that the postie should have had) because it (and most others) actually do perform the function of (and therefore are) shared paths as defined in the rules.
I am however, not a lawyer but do understand the law and how it should be read and interpreted.
Interesting interpretation. I don't suppose you have any case law where it has actually been tested by any chance?
No, and I doubt that there will be any case law in WA, mainly because the WA police do not seem to ever stop cycling on paths. It is an accepted WA way of life.
Case in point was on a footpath in Perth, not a marked shared path either by sign or on bike maps, five police waiting to cross at traffic signals (after all they couldn't jay walk), two cyclists riding on path and what happens. The bunch of police parted to allow the cyclists to ride through them.
Notwithstanding the lack of a case to argue, the issue here is that in the event of a cyclist being injured (say by a car reversing from a drive or a postie!) there is a defensible position that the riding on a path is legitimate.
By the way, when State Government agencies were presented with the legal interpretation, as far as I am aware this was not challenged and, whilst I understand legal advice was sought, no argument against this interpretation has been received.
There's a section of footpath in Richmond, NSW, that has (or had) a sign about bicycle riding not being permitted along it. Nothing anywhere else. I was rolling along it once and after I passed a pedestrian they yelled out to me about the sign... so I guess all other footpaths are okay to ride on.
That was a few years ago... I'm not sure the sign is there anymore (they did a lot of landscaping in that area). I can't see it in Google Street View, and it was quite a big sign (but then she was quite a big pedestrian).
I was thinking that if the OP had not ridden on the footpath then the postie would not have hit him. Talking about what if is irrellevent, the point is, there was no other person there at the time, only the OP. But it seems I'm wrong, again, it's no big deal it often happens
I just don't think people that flout the law, should complain when something goes wrong.
its purely volume of traffic GregW
how many people commute on bicycles and how many posties on Postie bikes. in the inner city area riding on footpaths will not work just purely based on the volume of bicycle traffic.
Andrew, i live in port melbourne and i have seen posties riding in a similar confirguration. but i used to live in blackburn and given the amount of area they need to cover, and the load they need to carry you would seriously need a proper cargo bike to do it safely.
Volume of traffic is not an issue.
As the number of cyclists and pedestrians funnel into the city or popular areas so does the level of infrastructure.
Also post is not delivered by motorbike in the inner-city areas for obvious reasons.
Out in the suburbs where journeys are started, there is no volume issue.
I am not suggesting that experienced riders need to be on the footpath, but there are cyclist other than under 12's that would benefit in outlying areas where cycling infrastructure is limited, lacking, or in some cases being reduced.
What I do find odd though, is that on a cycling forum where safety is spoken of daily, no one sees an issue with a motorbike on the footpath.
Slow down and enjoy the ride is the catch-cry, but we all jump to the defence of posties delivering the mail at breakneck speed.
You can bet your life the OP will be compensated in full. These incidents are finalised quickly by Australia Post. They do not want statistics and reports jeopardising cost effective mail delivery.
I'm kind of with you on this GraemeL. It's harsh but true, if a person is driving dui and has an accident, the insurance company drops them like a stone, why, because they have broken the law first. It doesn't matter what happened afterwards, they shouldn't have been dui. In the same instance, someone riding on the footpath has no recourse for damages, the OP may even be liable for damages to the postie bike and any psychological distress the postie may have suffered. It is one person's word against another and the person breaking the law doesn't really have recourse. That's the way the law would work.
I'm not preaching here, I do feel for the OP, it's not a nice thing to happen and I am just as guilty for taking the occasional footpath shortcut. Although it doesn't excuse it, I am damned careful when I do and I just hope nothing untoward occurs.
15 Bikes 2 adults 6 children, 2 dogs, 10 chooks and a heck of a lot of fish
I'm sorry, but that isn't how the law works. This has already been pointed out in this very thread.
Flout is an emotive term that implies far more than simply be in the wrong. And as a what-if it is not some obscure improbability that a legally entitled ped or kid on a bike could have been standign there instead. Someone being on the path is a common thing.
The postie erred. The posties actions were a hazard to anyone else including a pedestrain or a kid on a bike. He should not have missed seeing the person. The complaint should be made and coiuld result in less risk for others in future.
Will you still put in a claim against third party personal injury insurance if a drunk driver takes you out when you did not have a mud-guard that complied with regulations?
Legally I am not supposed to be on bike-only paths. If they ever get around to separating the two Riverside Drive paths as exclusive to cyclists and to peds respectively (which was said to be the intent while the works on the second path were underway) I would still stay on the bike only path. Illegally. Due to my odd fit and regardless of the law I am less of a hazard there than I am if I legally ride the ped path next to the river-wall. If some twit then does some stupid threading move that endangers me or anyone else, you bet your life I will complain. And I would not have any moral pangs when I do.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
The question I'd be asking is "What in the heck were you doing on the footpath on a bike designed to go at speed?
Not sure how that's a commuting cycle.
This is a commute friendly cycle, nice wide handle bars giving good control at slow speeds, also being a flat bar good visibility.
In all seriousness, ignorance of the law is no excuse. If your honest and tell your story I don't think you will get anywhere.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!
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