Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weapon

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:39 pm

Clip of my school drop-off this morning before going to work using the GoPro which is mounted on the base of the back of my head (not on the helmet) so it faces the rear. Basically the shot is one side street away from the PSP hence I recorded due to the parked cars etc (hello garbage truck!). I think the clarity isn't too bad but I can't see too clearly the rego of the cars so it's a bit of a harumph. Perhaps I can see it when they are near to me I suppose...

The GoPro also distorts the landscape because the street is a downhill section and it looks from the vision that it is level. The other is the issue with GoPro mounted on the helmet is the camera sits too high. Mounted at the base of my head, I don't face the same problem. The head strap mount is pretty tight. I have a cap, then the head strap with the camera, and the helmet sits above the camera.

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby zero » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:44 am

60 - 75 degree lens cameras are much better at picking up rego - the wide angle lens you have is much more forgiving of head movement - scene would be chopped off all the time if you had a cam that was good at regoes.

if there is a car directly behind you, the rego will probably be readable.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:03 am

I got her!

This morning's school run and going to review the footage now.

Advice on how to report this woman in a formal complaint to the police much appreciated.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:19 am

Excuse the hair:

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AT 72 MZ

Silver Subaru, station wagon.

She didn't slow down but sped along. Video just has whoooooooooooosh as she passed us.

Reading the first post, I can't rely on the short-term memory anymore. Subaru not Holden and more importantly, a clear footage of the rego.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Oxford » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:32 am

see my template sticky, really play up the safety aspect, children, school area etc etc and send it to a commissioner and CC in the local and state members, trust me something is bound to happen and it will be little missy subaru that pays the price.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:34 am

Oxford wrote:see my template sticky, really play up the safety aspect, children, school area etc etc and send it to a commissioner and CC in the local and state members, trust me something is bound to happen and it will be little missy subaru that pays the price.


Thanks Ox. I'm trying to print all the documents I made about this. Just rang 131 444 - the general police assistance hotline. They told me to go to a police station and report the person. I'm bringing my laptop in so they can view the video.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby find_bruce » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:33 am

If you have a DVD burner, giving them a copy of the relevant raw footage on DVD would also assist.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Xplora » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:25 am

Is that the same person? Can't see any vid at work.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:14 pm

Ok...spent most of the morning typing up my letter and statement (which ran to 7 pages) thanks to Ox's template (thanks OX! it's good practice). Went down to the local police station and spent half an hour with the Constable.

Ok, there is NO LEGAL requirement in terms of distance of how far a car can be close to you. I didn't know that, but I do now. So despite said car was half a metre from my son's wheels, she was still within her legal rights (!!!). Remember the 3 second rule? It doesn't apply. Maybe highways and motorways have a more definite legal definition but they can be 10 cm away from you and it still won't matter.

In the end, Constable said it was going to be very hard to take Thursday's incident to court, even to issue to her a ticket over it as she could dispute it in court and people have been getting off lately and overturning their tickets. There is no footage of Thursday's incident, so it will come to she said/she said version.

More importantly, said driver of Subaru lives in the street - so from my POV she should have known better but more likely we will see her again on our rides. Helmet cam on all the time. He said he will talk to her over the next couple of days, they take this seriously etc but he made me sign a note saying I won't take legal action over this incident, which is probably fair enough but he said if it happens again to ring the local number or 000. He did ask me if I was being followed by her and I said no, but as there is some written complaint against her they can now pull up if she does it again. So watch out for the Subaru peeps!

I did emphasise my son's safety over this that I wanted prevention and threatening a kid on a bike ain't going to make us go faster just because you get delayed for a minute.

So we shall see and Ox's note of what I wanted, I said to charge her with threatening behaviour towards my son, the Constable said it won't hold much up especially as I said there's no footage of it. I left my statement with the Constable and I guesss from his POV it will be event closed.

Lesson #1 from this: if you are riding on the road for any or all part of your commute/ride whether you are going shopping, dropping your kid off at school, quick leisure ride, GET A VIDEO CAMERA.

Lesson #2: Be prepared, have your statements ready, visuals ready.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:28 pm

Xplora wrote:Is that the same person? Can't see any vid at work.


It's only a screenshot. I have a vid of this morning as she speeds past us but there was adequate room in the street (it's quite narrow when cars are parked on both sides) and we slowed down so she could pass us.

As opposed on Thursday when she was caught behind us and was sitting on our wheels. So today's footage is not much use am afraid.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Oxford » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:09 pm

any outcome that has the police responding to the driver and letting the driver know that what they did is not acceptable is a good outcome. you cannot "win" them all, but you will get to the point where you know what to bother with and not to bother with. the template is a summary of the best I could come up with, but any additions/suggestions are appreciated.

the time my primary school daughter was involved in a road rage incident (with me) which had me toe to toe with the passenger (and him making an assault complaint as a result), had the passenger (underage) reamed by the police when I explained the basic facts of what had happened. the passenger had somehow conveniently forgotten to mention his behaviour that lead to the toe to toe situation, the police were not impressed (he leaned out of the car and tried to push my daughter over on a trailer bike behind me going down a hill). worse still he lied to his father about it, who then went toe to toe with me until I again explained the facts of life about his sons behavior. its funny how that situation resolved itself, there was more to it (took 2 years to resolve), but its best left to be told in person over some drinks such is the hilarity of the story.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:22 pm

Oxford wrote:any outcome that has the police responding to the driver and letting the driver know that what they did is not acceptable is a good outcome. you cannot "win" them all, but you will get to the point where you know what to bother with and not to bother with. the template is a summary of the best I could come up with, but any additions/suggestions are appreciated.


Imho, it is the best template we currently have available to report incidents. I was working on 2 pages then it went to 7 pages when I started working through your template :lol:

However, there were things I had not considered such as a screenshot of the location and the remedy section. I did pause a bit whether I wanted to go through court and whether I wanted the driver charged. I eventually thought yes, I want this driver charged for threatening the life of my son. However, when I spoke to the constable, we talked about the possibility of court action and while he wasn't against it, he did say that my son may have to present evidence and be cross-examined. As he wasn't really aware of what was happening to us, he would make a poor witness. So for now, the vid cam will have to be my other witness.

So Ox, another satisfied customer with your template. Peeps can assess whether their incident is serious enough because it will take more than 2 pages to write things up and will be a precursor to the court process. Only suggestion I can make to the template is if there's any video evidence, to bring one's laptop or a playback screen so the cops can see the footage. The police station didn't have our tech gadgets (it is a govt dept after all), they didn't have an SD reader (!) and I realised I have to provide EVERYTHING so the onus of proof is on the complainant. The other is dress code. I wore my suit to the police station (and sorry to say this peeps but cops are vain) and they treated my complaint with the seriousness and respect it deserved. (NB think about why lawyers are dressed thus)

Hope the idiot who tried to push your daughter gets a big serving of karma.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby hannos » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:56 pm

CommuRider wrote:Ok, there is NO LEGAL requirement in terms of distance of how far a car can be close to you. I didn't know that, but I do now. So despite said car was half a metre from my son's wheels, she was still within her legal rights (!!!).



Actually, i think there is.
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/ ... /s126.html
Keeping a safe distance behind vehicles
126 Keeping a safe distance behind vehicles

A driver must drive a sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of the driver so the driver can, if necessary, stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:00 pm

"Safe distance" is movable and can be broadly interpreted. No actual length :(

I think we need something similar to this thread

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=48994

Good info for the next incident. :| not only is the onus proof on the complainant, but traffic laws too. And here I was thinking of taking a tax course...might have to do traffic laws instead...

Edit: cop just rang to give me an update. Offender not at home. Will try later.
Last edited by CommuRider on Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby zero » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:05 pm

The more you are around, the more she may drive sensibly in any case, and it doesn't hurt to keep bugging the cops about close passes. If nobody ever complains about close passes then the interpretations will never change.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:33 pm

Well done Commie, no excuses for endangering a child. Keep on recording, dopey might decide to "show you" tomorrow, especially if Mr Plod doesn't mention the camera, just the complaint.

CommuRider wrote:I think we need something similar to this thread

http://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic ... 53&t=48994


I asked the favour of the more legislation savvy members in another thread and Inwood was the only one to stand up :( (Goodonyer mate)
I'd actually like to formulate state by state pocket sized cards with summaries and references to the legislation EG "Rule 123.4- Must use bikelane unless impracticable." and so on.

Might have to start a stand alone thread... :?

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:56 pm

I was asked if we were being stalked and I said no. It will be stalking from tomorrow onwards :) and now there's a record of the complaint I can build upon it if she doesn't modify her attitude and driving behaviour.

Re: pocket-sized legislation cards. Rome wasn't built in a day. :wink: we'll get there eventually.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby wombatK » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:11 pm

CommuRider wrote:"Safe distance" is movable and can be broadly interpreted. No actual length :(

So why did he make you sign a note that you would not take legal action in relation to the incident ?

That rings my alarm bell and tells me that you've got some legal rights that have been transgressed.

How is it reasonable for a plod to ask anyone to sign away their legal rights without taking proper
legal advice first ? I'd be taking that question up with his supervisors.

Not sayin' he's not helping you, or that he is, but it's sure wrong to assume he's on your side.

FWIW, if it's intimidating you, it's not safe IMHO.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:55 pm

I made sure he amended it to waive the legal action for this incident only. I asked him if this signing meant I was precluding future action and he said no and this wasn't waiving my rights to future action.

Yes it did concern me a bit why he asked me to sign that note so I had to think fast on that spot and ask for that amendment. But he knows that If this person threatens us again I am not going to hesitate to bring up another incident report. I was also aware this was going to be she said/she said without physical evidence and the way they were asking me lots of questions I knew the burden of proof was on me.

In that light I can understand his position but I think he knows I am determined that this not happen again. I think he wanted to close the incident report without charge but just write up that he was going to talk to the offender. I do have his details and email so I know who to contact directly. I think the paperwork I gave him showed the seriousness of my intent.

Btw, has anyone else been asked to sign a waiver of a similar note?
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby KenGS » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:06 pm

I recall being taught as a child that you can never sign away your rights.
My suspicion is that he wants to close the file but needs a statement from you that you don't intend to pursue it further. Covers him with his superiors in case you change your mind later.
Just a guess and IANAL
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Oxford » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:05 am

you cannot sign away you right to legal recourse for criminal action against someone. its just a bluff. you can sign away civil claims, people do everyday for money.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Comedian » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:27 am

I've taken the time to read this thread now. I really feel for you CR. I applaud what you've done and so on.

However reading this I can't help but think "what has our society come to?". You live 5-600m from school and in that short space you can be attacked by another human just for sport.

I'm in the position where we had been intending to get our kids to ride to school. We were thinking of giving it a go in the next little while. Our school is about 1km from home. We've got narrow footpaths only part of the way and often they are used as parking lots. You only have to cross one major road but the footpath is on the side of the road with lots of street crossings.

After having seen this and hearing X's story I'm really doubting whether it's worth the risk. :(

Having said that.. I often walk to another local school and fly a kite with them. We walked there a couple of weeks back and there was a road that had been grooved for surface preparation. When we walked that way one week later it had been resurfaced and my little boy pipes with "it's smooth now!". They get so much from the experience of getting out in the world but I won't risk their safety either. Hmmmm.
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Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:50 pm

Comedian, all I can say is make sure your kids are close to you - dooring is an issue in the streets we cycle through, aside from grumpy selfish drivers - AND GET A VIDEO CAMERA!!! Be seen. When I used to cycle with the tricycle, drivers gave me a wider berth and space but since jr is now on two wheels there are a lot of factors that can come into play.

We only take less than 5 minutes...you will probably take 10 minutes to ride to school...and a lot can happen in those 10 minutes :-( Just be prepared and be on the lookout constantly.

On the plus side, it's quality time riding with kids. Apart from exercise, you can point out all sorts of things in the neighbourhood, make them more aware. My neighbourhood is pretty cycle-friendly apart from people who have a personality change behind the wheels hence what I would have considered a low-risk activity is actually medium-risk.

At the end of the day, it is your lives and the risk assessment has to be made by you. If you don't feel confident, don't push yourself. You have your gut instincts as a parent and you know what's best for your family and situation.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:27 pm

CommuRider wrote:Ok, there is NO LEGAL requirement in terms of distance of how far a car can be close to you. I didn't know that, but I do now. So despite said car was half a metre from my son's wheels, she was still within her legal rights (!!!). Remember the 3 second rule? It doesn't apply. Maybe highways and motorways have a more definite legal definition but they can be 10 cm away from you and it still won't matter.

hi CR, that's incorrect. did the policy officer say that to you?

the national rules (probably the same as in NSw) state that:
140 No overtaking unless safe to do so
A driver must not overtake a vehicle unless:
(a) the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic; nd
(b) the driver can safely overtake the vehicle.

126 Keeping a safe distance behind vehicles
A driver must drive a sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of the driver so the driver can, if necessary, stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle.


although they don't specify exact distances, that does not mean there is no duty on motorists at all. it is up to the police officer to judge whether the provision has been breached. i would agree that it is impractical for the officer to do that, based solely on your testimony (which the driver would surely contradict). the answer is a camera, but don't accept any response that drivers can come as close as they like just because there is no numerical limit in the road rules. that's BS.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:39 pm

jules21 wrote:
CommuRider wrote:Ok, there is NO LEGAL requirement in terms of distance of how far a car can be close to you. I didn't know that, but I do now. So despite said car was half a metre from my son's wheels, she was still within her legal rights (!!!). Remember the 3 second rule? It doesn't apply. Maybe highways and motorways have a more definite legal definition but they can be 10 cm away from you and it still won't matter.

hi CR, that's incorrect. did the policy officer say that to you?
....
126 Keeping a safe distance behind vehicles
A driver must drive a sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of the driver so the driver can, if necessary, stop safely to avoid a collision with the vehicle.


He and his senior officer said the phrase "safe distance" - unsurprisingly - can be argued and subject to interpretation etc etc on what constituted safe. While they were sympathetic it was a 7 yo, there is nothing concrete in the law for now - in their view - that would provide a strong, solid action. Hence, no ticketing, no court action.

Lesson learnt for me is how vital a vid cam is to record incidents like this.

I suppose I could have argued she was tailgating...the phrase "safe distance" is probably a traffic lawyer's fantasy phrase.
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