Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage?

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Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage?

Postby velonaut » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:29 pm

So after an incident earlier in the week in which I had a driver approach from behind, scream abuse without provocation, tailgate me, overtake and attempt to sideswipe me (during which I punched his vehicle), force me off the road, get out of his vehicle and initiate a fist-fight, I'm considering investing in a helmet camera. (I'd prefer a handgun, but unfortunately our laws don't permit that.)

My question is, for those already running cameras, in your experience, do the police (particularly VicPol) follow up on complaints made with video evidence? And how serious does an incident need to be in order for them to bother going after the aggressor? Would they likely follow up a video of merely verbal abuse or tailgating? Or would it need to be a full-on assault before they'd do anything about it?

Thanks.
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by BNA » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:05 pm

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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby human909 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:05 pm

Tailgating and verbal abuse will at best lead to a "warning" from the police. ie Nothing will be done. Fist fights etc will be considered much more seriously. The police neither understand nor care about the risk that cyclists face on the roads.

I'm sorry to hear that things resulted in violence. I had an incident last month where the driver wanted to go toe to toe and even got out of the car and pushed me while riding. Following that he gave chase but I fortunately could out maneuver him.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby Summernight » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:37 pm

I forwarded my video evidence of an assault on the cyclist in front of me in March this year to the cyclist. The cyclist in question was the one who went to the police station to make a complaint and gave my details to the police who then called me to get my version of the incident. I was just a witness who gave my details and said I'd be willing to give evidence.

I also gave a written statement to the police about what I saw, although they've never followed me up about signing the statement or about giving evidence so I don't know what happened with that one.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby cowled » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:55 am

Hi there. First post from me. After an incident where a B-double truck turned left without indicating while I was in the bike lane (scared me witless), the police officer advised me to get a helmet cam. I bought a camera and attached it to my helmet, hoping never to need it. Unfortunately, I encountered a truckie who got abusive, pulled over to the side of the road, got out of his prime mover, knocked me off my bike and proceeded to threaten me with violence. A good samaritan stopped and called 000. Luckily, I didn't get pummelled, but I think it was because the truckie knew I was video taping the whole affair. I took the video directly to the police and made a statement. They promptly charged the fellow with assault. It went to court about 9mths later and the moron tried fighting the charge. I had to witness for the prosecution. The truckie represented himself and it became apparent to me, during his questions, that the reason he got angry in the first place was because he thought I had made some rude gestures at him. Apparently, by tapping my helmet cam, it looked as though I was making the DH sign and when I was wiping sweat off my upper lip it looked like the C-sucker sign. Haha, the twit had lost his marbles for no good reason. Now he has an assault conviction for all his troubles. Idiot!

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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby cowled » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:04 pm

Thought I should add that I have taken other video footage to police without any success. Had a truck driver who muscled me off the road by refusing to change lanes. I was forced into conflict with other traffic on a side street. The driver then signalled for me to pull over for a chat at the next set of lights. He proceeded to tell me why he was so annoyed by cyclists. I'd done nothing wrong. Went directly to the nearest police station, but the officer wasn't interested in taking a statement from me. I had to insist that she view the footage from my helmet cam. After that she had to admit the truckie did the wrong thing, but she still refused to take a statement. She said she would talk to the driver, but I never heard back from her.

I think it depends on the officer you talk to, how busy they are and whether you got hurt or not. These are the things that seem to determine whether your footage is helpful or not.

One of the biggest benefits of having a helmet cam is that I feel compelled to follow every single road rule at all times because I never know if the footage might be seen by a police officer in the event of an incident.

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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby Xplora » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:34 pm

Get reference numbers and officer names, complain to the Ombudman. Take notes. Yes, you might get issues, but here is the rub of it - there are incredibly powerful checks and balances for these people, and the beauty of management in ANY organisation is that they recognise that if one of their staff has done the wrong thing, it is easier to punish the staff member and give the "customer" what they want, than to consume further resources by having things escalated and investigated. My experience with Ombudsman stuff is that an investigation will cost 500++ dollars to conduct, regardless of the size. When the Police Ombudman asks "why did you do nothing with a free kick on a conviction?", the sargeant knows that it's a world of hurt for the officer in question, it damages an otherwise good career record, and it doesn't achieve the police's goal - to enforce law and order for the benefit of Australians.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby cowled » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:52 pm

@xplora, good points. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Will keep all this in mind when I get back on the bike. Currently recovering from a broken leg caused by a side swipe from a Jeep. Will be out of action for a few months.

Btw, I got the footage of the tussle with the Jeep but the police were not interested. Apparently the driver admitted fault straight up. Eye witnesses also blamed the driver, so the police didn't even need a statement from me.

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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby jules21 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:47 pm

cowled wrote:The truckie represented himself and it became apparent to me, during his questions, that the reason he got angry in the first place was because he thought I had made some rude gestures at him. Apparently, by tapping my helmet cam, it looked as though I was making the DH sign and when I was wiping sweat off my upper lip it looked like the C-sucker sign. Haha, the twit had lost his marbles for no good reason. Now he has an assault conviction for all his troubles. Idiot!

classic paranoia, symptom of taking too much speed for long driving stints.
velonaut wrote:My question is, for those already running cameras, in your experience, do the police (particularly VicPol) follow up on complaints made with video evidence? And how serious does an incident need to be in order for them to bother going after the aggressor? Would they likely follow up a video of merely verbal abuse or tailgating? Or would it need to be a full-on assault before they'd do anything about it?

this question comes up regularly. the answer is - it does not depend on the camera. police have an obligation to follow up on crime - which includes traffic violations. the camera footage is mere (but good) evidence. if cops aren't following up on genuine offences which they have a reasonable prospect of securing a conviction, they simply aren't doing their job. that will happen - camera or no camera. when it does - the best thing to do is elevate your complaint to a superior of their's until you get a satisfactory response.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby hannos » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:23 pm

cowled wrote: Went directly to the nearest police station, but the officer wasn't interested in taking a statement from me. I had to insist that she view the footage from my helmet cam.She said she would talk to the driver, but I never heard back from her.


I had virtually the same response when i took footage to the police. The officer I spoke to also ended up not responding to my emails. So I made a complaint to the Police Customer Assistance Unit and they seem to work very fast. I had them and the original officer calling me to organise a time to make an official statement.
The driver ended up getting a neg driving charge.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby hannos » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:24 pm

cowled wrote:
Btw, I got the footage of the tussle with the Jeep but the police were not interested. Apparently the driver admitted fault straight up. Eye witnesses also blamed the driver, so the police didn't even need a statement from me.



That's odd. I would have thought they'd need a statement from you anyhow since you were the victim?
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:28 pm

hannos wrote:
cowled wrote:
Btw, I got the footage of the tussle with the Jeep but the police were not interested. Apparently the driver admitted fault straight up. Eye witnesses also blamed the driver, so the police didn't even need a statement from me.



That's odd. I would have thought they'd need a statement from you anyhow since you were the victim?

see your post above :)
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby cowled » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:25 pm

@hannos, yeah I was less than impressed with the police on this incident. I can understand that they would want to finalise a report asap and I was in hospital for a week. They felt that they had enough information to charge the driver.

Unfortunately, they only charged him with "following too closely". Hardly appropriate in my opinion. Following too closely implies the numpty didn't hit me.

What can I do, eh? At least the police found in my favour, so it should be a slam dunk for the personal injury insurance claim.

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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby InTheWoods » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:28 pm

Nice to meet you today Cowled.

Why the police charged your Jeep driver with following too closely boggles my mind. He hit you *while overtaking*, there are other rules to deal with that. I find it very frustrating that stupid driving like that, that has left you very injured and could have been much worse, is just a minor traffic offence.

Again this was on a multi-lane road. Its why I want lane sharing banned on urban multi-lane roads where there is no bike lane.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby cowled » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:20 pm

Thanks for the words of support Woods. Fingers crossed that the parliamentary inquiry leads to better outcomes for cyclists long term.

It is incredibly frustrating that the police only seem to want to take the easy way out when it comes to prosecuting motorists. Perhaps I should consider escalating this incident to a higher level and insist that they take a statement from me along with the video footage.

Btw, I was very moved by your eloquent speech at the inquiry today. You gave a human perspective where many others were focused on stats and legalese.

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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby jules21 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:24 pm

cowled wrote:It is incredibly frustrating that the police only seem to want to take the easy way out

fixed that for you..
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby sumgy » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:20 pm

hannos wrote:
cowled wrote:
Btw, I got the footage of the tussle with the Jeep but the police were not interested. Apparently the driver admitted fault straight up. Eye witnesses also blamed the driver, so the police didn't even need a statement from me.



That's odd. I would have thought they'd need a statement from you anyhow since you were the victim?


Never had any discussion with the police when I got hit a couple of months ago.
There were 4 witnesses and the driver was found guilty of failing to give way.
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:12 pm

in my experiences, police tend not want to care about things like these...
unless your severely injured via an assault ...

happend to friend i knew way back, was dragged out of a car by a big bloke and got strangled on the floor UFC take-down style...

he had plenty of red marks on his neck, in which coppers took pics. and took his statement down...

but in the end, the other party denied it and said he did it out of self defence.

so the result was, he got a verbal warning (even though he was the victim... and the other bloke got a warning.) as they claim they cant take sides...

And nothing they could do to help the situation... so from that point they suggested taking into a civil matter in court to file a lawsuit.

a camera and video surveleince may help, and would most likely help you if you do go down that path of a lawsuit...
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Re: Will police do anything with video evidence of road rage

Postby clackers » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:05 pm

Very pragmatic by the police, then, rather than just.
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