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

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

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

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:46 pm

When it comes down to it you could use numbers to back yourself up. The legislation requires drivers to leave enough gap such that they could stop if required without colliding with you. Simple physics dictates how rapidly you could stop in an emergency situation and how fast they could stop also taking into account reaction times, so clearly there is a numerical minimum distance at which they can drive behind you. All the legislation does is state that this minimum distance isn't a fixed number but changes based on the conditions (rain, speed etc). Clearly if you brake heavily and somebody runs up the back of you they weren't the minimum distance away by definition, it's harder to proove that somebody was too close if they don't hit you especially from video footage but I'm sure that the argument could be mounted. Clearly half a meter is inside that minimum distance unless you were both travelling at 2 kph, the real question is whether you could realistically mount this argument in court and win and I don't have enough faith in our legal system to say yes (even though logically it's airtight). I'm not a lawyer etc etc
Image
AndrewBurns
 
Posts: 994
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:36 pm

by BNA » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:59 pm

BNA
 

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

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:59 pm

CommuRider wrote: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.

it's quite deliberate that there is nothing concrete in the law - the judgment is supposed to be made by the prosecution. or, they can refuse to prosecute and take a long lunch instead..
Image
User avatar
jules21
 
Posts: 8552
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:14 pm
Location: deep in the pain cave

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

Postby Oxford » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:07 pm

whenever they do that and say there is nothing specific or that they can do about it, personalise it. say "so you would accept someone doing that to your child?". "if that were your child and someone was menacing them with their car you would find that acceptable?". that's why the template has words similar to that, because so often I hear the police say, no damage, no injury, no harm, no foul, so my response is so why do you issue speeding tickets to drivers who cause no damage, no injury, no harm, no foul etc. its because they could potentially do that, just as this driver could if their behaviour is not nipped in the bud now. its not what has happened, but what could happen. you need to use their argument and turn it against them.

BTW Commurider, as your child grows up you will learn to use this technique naturally, using the child's argument against them. :mrgreen:
Life is not about waiting for the rain to pass.....it's about learning to dance (or ride) in the rain.
- anonymous
User avatar
Oxford
 
Posts: 4741
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Location: Brisbane

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

Postby rokwiz » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:52 pm

Yeh, You'll just have to keep the camera rolling,
The man will catch up with her oneday.

This is what happened to me 20 years ago while living in hillbilly country (the Central Coast).

Get comfy it might take a while......
Riding a long climb towards Avoca with a friend we were narrowly passed at high speed by car hoons geeze that was close, happened again further up same car, (blood starting to boil) then again just before a T section one way to Avoca the other Copa. Left took us down back home when this same clown passed close by forcing me off the road.
Geeze I'm gunna get this goose, so off I went (raging) caught up to him letting his friend off (one of 5 in the car) down the bottom of the hill, came round on his right side and grab the keys while leaning on the car, reached in and saw this guy was merely a kid and his mates hooning so I gestured (read yelled explitives) to him with thumb and fore finger in front of his chin, that you missed me by this much and you could have killed me doing that you little ************.
My riding friend arrived and she wanted to beat the little SOD but we both agreed ring the cops and the school was a better option (They were playing truent from school)
When home we got out the phone book, was looking up the school and police station, when a knock at the door was heard and it was a police officer const (won't say the name) from Terrigal police. He had a report from 5 frightened teens with ones jaw badly bruised that I had assaulted. (seems one of them knew us) My partner wanted to make a complaint against them so he took a statement from her. After explaining what happened he assured me that it probably wouldn't go any further and to not bother.
Boy was he wrong.

Are you still reading this.......hope your not snoozing.........
So 4 weeks pass, we rock upto court with a big smoke barrister Bicycle NSW recommends, seems the story they were putting to the court was I just jumped out of nowhere to attack this poor innocent sole, which he had 5 witnesses no mention of bicycles.
After my time in the box where I declared they could have killed me,and I was actually on a bicycle, which the prosecution found rather amuseing, Then it was the cops turn, under questioning const ***** said he didn't speak to my partner and told the court he didn't take her statement, the judge asked to see his notebook which showed her name and statement. (my barrister didn't)
I remember very clearly looking at my slick barrister and he just shugged his shoulders at me.
Fortunately the judge was starting to believe me after the cop had lied in court under oath, the 5 guys story wasn't quite matching either especially after bicycles were mentioned.
The judge remarked that being a Stonemason I showed great restraint in not touching this guy and it was quite clear to him I couldn't have in the position I was in leaning on the car, he also stated it was a clear case of provocation.

No conviction was recorded but I was told to be good boy in future.
The moral of the story is get plenty of evidence to support your case and make sure cops take written statements off you and your witnesses I take action imediately after the event (NOT LIKE ME) like Oxford and others have said.

Hope I haven't sent you lot of to sleep...hello....hello...

Geoff
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come... D Diderot 1752
User avatar
rokwiz
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:14 pm
Location: Eastcoast Australia

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

Postby rokwiz » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:00 pm

Forgot to mention,
Always some good come of these things....This event inspired us to form the original Central Coast Bicycle Group, no social rides just council bagering.
Geoff
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come... D Diderot 1752
User avatar
rokwiz
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:14 pm
Location: Eastcoast Australia

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

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:03 pm

Nah Geoff, enjoyed your story. Lessons like these create a heightened sense of awwareness re:evidence. Hope others learn from our experiences!
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby KonaCommuter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:43 pm

rokwiz wrote:The moral of the story is get plenty of evidence to support your case and make sure cops take written statements off you and your witnesses I take action imediately after the event (NOT LIKE ME) like Oxford and others have said.



The message I got was to have a camera and if the Police turn up to keep records of the conversation
2012 Oppy A4
User avatar
KonaCommuter
 
Posts: 978
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Brisbane Northside

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

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:50 pm

Just got a short call from 'Constable'. He spoke to driver and she was very apologetic. He said that she reacted the way he expected - ignorant of her actions and its affect on me and my 7yo. He did say to contact the station if there are any incidents in the future. I have a feeling the next one is around the corner. One of Jr's classmates' mum who is a P-plater who was beeping at us last week pre-camera. :|

Will wait for the footage...or several. Last thing I want to be known for is to be a nuisance complainant.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby KonaCommuter » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:56 pm

CommuRider wrote:Just got a short call from 'Constable'. He spoke to driver and she was very apologetic. He said that she reacted the way he expected - ignorant of her actions and its affect on me and my 7yo. He did say to contact the station if there are any incidents in the future. I have a feeling the next one is around the corner. One of Jr's classmates' mum who is a P-plater who was beeping at us last week pre-camera. :|

Will wait for the footage...or several. Last thing I want to be known for is to be a nuisance complainant.



Get your 7yo to ask his classmate to find out if his mum knows how many points she’ll lose when she uses her horn inappropriately and to also ask her if they’ll be riding to school when she loses her licence.
2012 Oppy A4
User avatar
KonaCommuter
 
Posts: 978
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:28 pm
Location: Brisbane Northside

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

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:15 pm

:lol:

Actually on our school rides we see the other kids around the neighbourhood on their bikes waiting for mum/dad; they'd prefer to ride their bike to school instead of being in their parents' 4WD but there ya go. Cotton wool their kids while threatening others.

P-plater is a NESB and ferries around 3 kids. They live nearby but I have never spoken to her. Jr doesn't like older bro because 'he's a bit of a bully'. At this stage, I'd prefer to let the vidcam do its work and when she does something illegal, hand over the footage to constable. I have the warning sign on my back so if she wants to take the risk of breaking the road rules and losing her licence, it will be her own fault. I'd rather not deal with overdramatic outcomes and confront her beeping before it. She can plead she doesn't understand me or I'm victimising her etc.

I don't know their circumstance and her beeping on cyclists may be her way of expressing her own disempowerment. She could be a frustrated a SAHM trigger-ready to explode as I don't see her much socialising within the school community. I have seen some frustrated SAHMs in my area and little things have made them lose their cool - usually with their little ones which make it rather frightening.

Actually, when I visited the police station they had posters of illegal weapons...and heaps of domestic violence posters. You want to know the underbelly of an area, go to the local cop shop....
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:14 am

Saga continues. After this morning's run, fresh off the press. Email I wrote to the constable dealing with our case:

***

Dear Constable ***,

I would like to refer to the above event number. This morning at around 8:40am, the owner of the Silver Subaru Station Wagon, [name deleted] accompanied by her daughter, confronted me and my son on the grounds of the school, just outside the staff room of the school. We rode our bikes to the PS, she had parked her car outside [street] and drove with her daughter along the parallel streets to the school. Whether she was stalking us or not I could not say. We arrived earlier than her at the school.

We exchanged a few words, she expressed her displeasure at being reported to the police by me. I maintained my stance she was driving in a threatening manner on the 16th of February. She maintained I should have pulled over and let her car through. I tried to tell her had we pulled over a bit more my son would have landed in the gutter and maintaining half a metre between her vehicle and my son was not safe. We both believe on sharing the road however her concept of sharing the road was clearly different from mine. I told her not to use her vehicle as a weapon.

I started recording after a minute she confronted me so I do have an audio copy of the confrontation.

I am letting you know about this morning's incident just in case it does escalate.

Yours sincerely,

****

The woman kept telling me we were riding in the middle of the road (erm, yes I suppose we have to when it's a narrow street and there's parked cars on either street so you don't overtake us and hit us along the way) hence she was nudging her car forward and she thought we would be stopping to let her through. :roll:

Anyway, after this morning's tensions, I'm quite glad I have to drive in over the next three days so I don't have to deal with the rationality of this woman. Her daughter goes to the same school probably in kindy. We arrived earlier than her but as some of you have pointed out, she would not have seen the logic in cycling to school instead of driving her car and in this sense continues to use her weapon to threaten parents who have decided to take the option of not contributing to further traffic and congestion during the school run.

PS

By no means was she apologetic as the cop said she was when he spoke to her last week. No apology from her at all. :|
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:42 am

Bugger. Had a feeling that might happen :(

Does she know about the camera? If so, she won't risk anything in the car but I can sense some peer networking coming up to push for a restriction on riding to school "for the kiddies sake". Methinks you should be prepared for backlash Commie, if not against you, then the lad. Bullying can be very subtle :(

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25563
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

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

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Yes I told her I got the camera because of her...and at the end told her I have you on camera from now on. She doesn't fully realise I have taken these steps because I felt threatened by her actions to use her vehicle as a weapon.

Without the vehicle, she came across as a near-hysterical woman with a kindy kid. She was shorter than me and looked frail. But far from apologetic. She said if I had something to say, to say it to her. So I did. And I have the audio record too. It is funny how she told me to share the road when she had to slow down behind me. Today she did slow down as opposed to the 16th and I guess she did not like that.

Ride to school is only a couple of weeks away as well. If this escalates, at least I have informed the Constable and it is on record if she does something crazy.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby jules21 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:51 pm

nice work CR.

what can you say? the belief that motorists have primacy over cyclists is so ingrained in some people that they just can't comprehend that they need to show consideration towards cyclists. it's almost as fascinating to me as it is frustrating.
Image
User avatar
jules21
 
Posts: 8552
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:14 pm
Location: deep in the pain cave

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

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:13 pm

CR,

hopefully sanity will prevail & this woman will give you room, even if she doesn't like it.

If you are concerned and things do not appear to be improving, there are steps the police can take.

1. Charge the driver with the offence of menacing driving
Section 43 Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 wrote:(2) Offence—possibility of menace
A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road or road related area in a manner that menaces another person if the person ought to have known that the other person might be menaced.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence).

20 penalty units is currently $2,200.
There are two difficulties with proving this offence beyond reasonable doubt.
(a) proving the manner of driving - the video should provide excellent evidence in this regard; &
(b) proving that the person "ought to have known" that you might be menaced. The fact that you have reported your concerns to the Police who have spoken to the driver will go a long way to establishing that she ought to have known.

2. For the police to apply for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order. Both you and your son should be included as protected persons. Because your son is under 16, only the police can apply for the order. As the police website says
If the complaint relates to the safety and protection of a child or young person under the age of 16 years of age, police have an obligation to make and [sic] application on their behalf, whether it relates to a domestic or personal violence situation.

Contrary to the advice the police officer previously gave you, the Attorney-General's Department website states in relation to an Apprehended Personal Violence Order:
In most cases, protected persons who are children under 16 will not need to give evidence about the case unless the court believes it is necessary.

Yes both of these actions are serious & potentially have serious consequences for the driver. I put them forward simply because you are concerned for your safety and that of your child.

Some police officers are reluctant to take on certain matters for reasons that I am not going to speculate about. The above 2 options should enable you to encourage the police officer to take the appropriate action.

If you need some help, send me a PM & I will do my best to assist.
Image
User avatar
find_bruce
 
Posts: 3561
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:31 pm

Thanks FB, sent a PM.

Still waiting for constable's response...I have a suspicion cops don't like emails as they can be used as evidence.

Anyway, we next ride on Friday so everything should be quiet over the next couple of days.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby Xplora » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:07 pm

CR, couple of things - things have already escalated WELL beyond your understanding it seems. This woman has identified you and has confronted you, after being spoken to by the cops :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Given she is NESB, she is already trying to take the law into her own hands. Notify the principal. This has gotten very serious. Who is to say the older bully son won't single out your boy for a square up to send a message? she clearly doesn't understand how serious things have become once a victim like you has gone to the cops and recorded events. Don't presume she won't have another brain snap.
Xplora
 
Posts: 5598
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

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

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:17 pm

No, no, this is not NESB. NESB is the P-plater who beeped at us pre-camera with the two boys. (who'd have thought that since jr got rid of the training wheels, riding to school would cause so much angst....)

This is Subaru woman with kindy kid who found nothing wrong in being half a metre behind my son's wheel. She is very well spoken but was a bit hysterical this morning and she was pumped up for confrontation. This is beyond a school issue. I don't expect the principal to kick the daughter out of school because mum is a selfish, unfeeling driver and it is the local public school. Students don't get excluded because of the actions of their parents.

I would like to know though what constable said to her about confronting me etc. since I have the audio record, I am unsure she has thought through what she did this morning. For the time being, I am building up evidence because at the end of the day, a court will only deal with facts and I need as much evidence to support the facts.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby zero » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:16 pm

Everyone should just calm down imo.

She isn't going to take a swing at you at school, and she isn't going to drive close to you again. There will be no need for protection orders, she will not lose her licence, there is no need to build up a portfolio of evidence, other than having the camera running whilst you ride. She can bellyache all she likes about having the cops involved but realistically its a much better solution for society that it is done that way, and not done via you following her home or some other bizarre vigilante action, or a shouting match on the road with a powered vehicle present.

The number one rule of Australian adults is that they do not like being told they are in the wrong, especially regarding their driving - its not unsuprising to me that there was a verbal confrontation afterwards. Some freedoms tend to be hard won. Most parents will not be deeply concerned that you are requesting careful driving around the school - after all everyones kids are in that same basket.
zero
 
Posts: 2617
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:54 pm

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

Postby Xplora » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:40 pm

I'm clearly unaware of who is who in all of this, but if there are unsolicited followup private conversations after a discussion with the cops where they aren't apologising and backing up what the cops have told you, that's a quiet declaration of war. If you weren't riding to school with an inexperienced child, I wouldn't stress but you have zero power. The fact they've ridden 50cm from your kid (seriously, what kind of sick M(*&F(*& does that) means they don't care about your welfare and aren't smart enough to understand the implications of their actions.

I said what I said before early in the thread for a reason. This is your kids. Drive your car 50cm from their kids. Stomp the brakes to screech the tyres... is it merely a disagreement, or an act of malice and malevolence? I expect we'll be living 200m from our public school. I wouldn't stand for anything happening to kids in our area, because it's MY area.

I understand your point zero... we should be calm. But the line was already crossed twice, unless you think CR had no business being on the road in the first place. That's the only way I could conceive the Subadroob driver could justify such stupidity.

Admit failure and mistake, and people will let you get away with murder. Refuse to accept responsibility and wrongdoing, and they'll jail you for life over stealing a pen.
Xplora
 
Posts: 5598
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

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

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:17 pm

@zero Yes it is true that no adult likes being told they are in the wrong. But at the same time we are responsible for our own actions too. I would have liked it had she apologised to me that her actions were in the wrong, that driving too closely to a kid on a bike was wrong. That she will never do it again. But to all of that she didn't. She actually said, "I didn't run over your son nor injure him." And I took umbrage at that and said that did you want to injure him? and she started walking away and that's when I reminded her that she is on helmet cam from now on. The audio records that. I was flabbergasted by it.

I gave her a minute to speak and then turned the helmet cam back on because I realised what she thought she did was justifiable and we were just delaying her. It is all about HER rights on the road. How SHE driving in her SW has protected her kindy kid and SHE does not need to think about other kids except hers. What I should have said is....you thought it wise to put my son's life at risk to save you 30 seconds, 1 minute max.

I do understand that people need to chill. In fact every time I'm behind a wheel and driving...erm parking...in Sydney traffic I'm reminded why I took cycling up in the first place. Being stuck in a metal box makes you inhuman, less concerned of the welfare of others on the road and gives you a sense of entitlement of "out of my way you peasants".

I will still build the body of evidence because I need to show there is history with this woman's driving. I can't foresee the future or what crazy things she or her partner will do. There is a whole year ahead of us and I want my son to ride with me when we can instead of contributing to the congestion around the school in our car.

I am just so glad that my kid did not brake suddenly that morning because he would feasibly have gone under her car and I will be posting about my son's injuries on here (or worse) instead of raising the issue of shocking driving skills of people during school runs.

I will probably get another helmet cam (for the front) on pay day this week. I had to have a talk with my son today that he needs to ring 000 if I get run over. It is morbid but I want him to be prepared for any foreseeable incidents.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby zero » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:59 pm

She isn't crazy, just self absorbed.

Seriously she will present no more risk than any other driver around the school from now on, I just would forget she is there. Anything else, and you will stop enjoying riding, when realistically a morning ride to school with your kids is probably one of the best things you can do in life.

I got told off once as a much younger man, (for doing 60 in the parking complex to get to my garage where I used to live on my first large motorcycle - GSXR750). I rather ungraciously said ok, I wouldn't do it again, but didn't apologise. In hindsight I think he really was expecting the apology, because he kept rabbiting on, so I said "I already said I wouldn't do it again", and I know he left the debate unsatisfied, but the reality was, I lived there for at least 3 more years, and I don't think I ever exceeded 10 in the parking area again - not because I was somehow scared of the guy - I wasn't, but because I did see the common sense in what was said.
zero
 
Posts: 2617
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:54 pm

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

Postby CommuRider » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:35 am

I sincerely hope you're right.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

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

Postby Ross » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:44 pm

As you've experienced CR, you can't always rely on the authorities to do their job properly and enforce the rules.

A few years ago I was driving my car along a street in an industrial suburb when this young woman pulled out from the driveway of a business (ironically a smash repairer) and into the side of my car. I wasn't angry, I was bemused. My car was a bit of a bomb, but it didn't need any more damage, especially from someone else. Car was still driveable, just a bit of panel damage.I thought it was a pretty plain, cut and dried situation that this woman had failed to give way to me. She gave me the thousand apologies and asked if she could say her BF (who was at home) was driving as she'd had too many driving offences and would probably lose her licence. I figured as long as the damage to my car was fixed it didn't really matter who had actually done the damage so I agreed and gave her my phone number and said call me with the details of who BF was etc and I wouldn't report it to the cops until I'd heard from her so both our stories matched. 5 hours later I still hadn't heard from her (I didn't have her phone number so couldn't call her) so went to the cop station and gave my version of the story (without the BF driving bit).

A couple of weeks later I get a letter of demand from her insurance company saying they wanted payment of $XXX for damage I'd caused! I was so angry! I'd given her every opportunity and bent over backwards to help her and she'd thrown it back in my face. So I got three quotes for repairs to my car and sent her a letter of demand asking for the cost of repairs from the cheapest quote (still trying to help her out). A week or so later I got another letter from her insurance company, so I sent her another one.

Eventually we ended up going to court about it. I couldn't afford a solicitor (didn't think I needed one as the incident seemed quite plain to me that I was in the right) and so represented myself. I had photos of the accident scence from different angles (showing the position of the sun and any parked cars in case she wanted to use that as an excuse) and copies of the the 3 repair quotes and photos of damage to my car. She walked into court dressed to the nines with her solicitor in tow. They had nothing. No quotes, nothing. I said I might be willing to accept a cash offer for the cost of repairs (the quote was around $1500, I would of accepted $500 and bought some parts from the wreckers to fix it up). The judge looked at my paperwork and the details about the accident and then made a ruling; no fault that we pay our own costs, case dismissed! No mention of her bad driving record or that she failed to give way. WT? :evil:
Image
User avatar
Ross
 
Posts: 3675
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:53 pm

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

Postby CommuRider » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:46 pm

What an appalling experience Ross. What an incredible liar too. Sorry to hear you couldn't afford a lawyer - did you ring Legal Aid etc? It is always a lesson to make sure to exchange insurance details, phone numbers etc. In hindsight, ringing the cops in an incident like this would have helped too as I know damage in excess of a certain amount, the cops need to be called. They would have also have taken your case due to her prior driving offences too I suspect. Anyway, incidents like yours is a good reminder not to trust people's words unless it is written down, better to have photographic and video records, witnesses too if possible.

But yes, we live and learn. As for my incident, the constable emailed me a couple of days ago saying he would add her confrontation to me on the record. I did think about emailing him and saying "You said she was apologetic...she was far from apologetic, offered no apologies and gave a lousy excuse of I didn't hurt your son" crap. UGH. But thought better of it.

Anyway, I have that audio exchange still on record. Funny, how we have to be our own little brothers now with recording devices because there really isn't enough manpower (police wise) to enforce rules on people who don't give a stuff about anyone else but themselves.

What do the Buddhists say: DO NO HARM. And we can all get along with each other.
Amateur oenologist and green-friendly commuter.
User avatar
CommuRider
 
Posts: 5053
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: Sydney

PreviousNext

Return to Cycling Safety and Advocacy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU



InTouch with BNA
“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter
cron