Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
14 posts • Page 1 of 1
I was thinking on the ride home from work (just after a bogan had let me know about how he had a really small appendage) about driver accountability. I understand that folk on this forum are working towards a streemlined aproach to reporting bad behaviour to the Police which is a great idea. I also wonder if a data base for reporting could be useful for holding drivers acountable, where a patern of repeatedly bad behaviour has resulted in a serious accident? For example, if some snoozer drives really close to you and yells out something you could access the data base online and fill in the form: Date, Time, Location, Vehical Details, Incedent details, Your own details. That's it, the incident is recorded, no further action required. Then at some time in the future this same snoozer hits and kills a cyclist, he gets charged, it goes to court, his defence is, "I didn't see them, they just came out of no-where." Then the police provide details of any recorded behavior, found on this data base which could indicate a patern of dangerous behaviour directed towards cyclist going back however many years. Any incedent on it's own is minor and hardly likely to be reported to the local cops but accumulated incidents could equal evidence.
Now I know that pinning anything on a driver is difficult due to our regestration system only able to identify a vehicals owner and not the vehicals driver and that's where I'm wondering if our cycling advocates have discussed pushing for a system where a drivers licence number is also displayed front and back on a car? Lets face it anyone can jump behind the wheel of a car be they licenced or not. A system where licences are displayed could promote more considered behaviour from those behind the wheel by taking some of the anonymity out of it and people may be more carefull about who they allow to access their cars
Of course legislation aimed at providing appropriate penalties to those drivers who kill or injure cyclists would be the last piece of the puzzle and maybe then drivers would have some real incentive to be carefull around vulnerable road users.
I would think there is already the facility in the police database to record "incidents" against drivers but the problem can be, as Michael O'Reilly blogged today, getting the police to take the incident seriously enough to record details.
Having a "vigilante" type repoprting system where "victims" report incidents can be open to abuse. If I decide I don't like the bloke up the street for whatever reason I can record false incidents against him, and then him of me. There used to be a website "Rate My Plate" I think it was called where you could dob in moron motorists "blue Datsun rego XYZ123 ran a red light Beach Rd" but it got shut down, I think because of legal implications of false reports.
As for the licence of the driver being displayed on vehicles, that can be complicated when cars have regular different drivers, as families and work pool vehicles often do. So not sure how you would get around that.
As far as I know unless I am being told a story, even the incidents I report that result in just a chat or a warning are formally recorded against the driver and are considered should a substantial incident arise. To me that is sufficient capturing of the data.
That said I now keep a spreadsheet but that is for my own tracking purposes as often I need to bring up the details of past incidents (e.g., for a possible ABC 7:30 news story and the like).
Red light and speed cameras identify the vehicle. The notice is sent out to the registered owner, who then identifies the driver ... that is the way the present system is supposed to work. Don't see why similar actions cannot take place for other offenses? Some of the cameras take the photos from the front .. so they might get a good shot of the driver to aid id.
Not sure about the legal side, but there certainly was a low signal to noise ratio on the site.
I'm thinking that licence numbers would need to be removeable and those responsable for them would keep them with them as far as would be practical. As far as the current system is concerned if someone is a crap driver and looses many or all of their points they can just get someone else to take the infringement for them but if their licence number was displayed, this strategy would no longer be an option because the traffic camera would register the driver of the vehical as opposed to the owner.
I understand the limitations of a vigilante data data base but I also feel that a cycling group could better act on behalf of cyclists than the police because we care when a cyclist gets hit. As far as the system being open to abuse, yes I can see this but one person targeting one driver falsly should be easy to reveal and therefore irelevant, 10 unassociated people reporting one driver would be a patern.
Thanks for the feedback guys,
So you reckon you want all drivers to mount/demount and carry with them their own portable licence plates
Mate, that is the funniest joke I have heard in years about drivers and the Australian ID card Good luck with getting any traction with that one.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Personalising the driver to the car is certainly something that needs consideration, as there are some serious flaws with the system now. There was a time when you'd actually be able to identify a person via the plates, but as our world gets bigger (especially considering that the bulk of Australia's population only lives in 3-4 cities) then anonymity becomes a bigger issue. There are ways to deal with that - it is simply political will.
People often don't display L or P plates or display them incorrectly (large number of driving school cars I see with presumably just the instructor driving and having L plates still displayed, P lates half hidden behind number plates) so getting people to display licence numbers would be hard work to say the least.
But you could get 10 cyclists from the same bunch or club all to falsely report a particular driver on differernt days and supposed locations. Or 10 Holden lovers falsely report some guy in a Ford on differernt days and supposed locations just because they don't like Fords. VIgilante type reporting just won't work.
You could organise 10 people to make a formal but false report any crime (and scarily enough, if the police couldn't find any links between the 10, you'd probably get away with it) and get the same result. We already have vigilante reporting, the police simply require a formal report to ensure that they only get the seriously motivated.
I personally am in favour of this kind of streamlined reporting. I'm not asking them to convict the driver of vehicular manslaughter, but simply to take it into account for any less serious offences. If someone has an unofficial record with the police for being aggressive and foulmouthed, they will treat that person differently.
If this makes the owner think twice about letting others drive their car, good. I wouldn't let someone drive my car if they were going to terrorise someone with it.
Yes it was a dumb idea.
But THATS not a dumb idea - and I think you could argue that is what youtube already is. Trick would be getting police to use and treat it as such, and understanding digital time stamps and the like. Could be that a specialised version just for traffic offences which allows direct uploads but also pushes or pulls video to a youtube channel would work well. If it was was constructed in collaboration with the police, even better. Privacy settings could even be automatically implemented in various ways - for example, by number recognition software so that only registered users (e.g police administrators, insurers) would see number plates and they would be blurred for the rest.
14 posts • Page 1 of 1
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