Close pass on 70km/h stretch of road, but the police have blamed the cyclist for veering into the path of the ute.

Firstly, the driver of the ute has spoken to Craig and apoligised, the company has followed up with the driver. Please do not contact the driver or the company in this story, this is about the lack of follow up from the police on a very serious issue.

The name of the Sargeant has been removed, Craig chose to leave his details in this. 

 

A video clip was put on YouTube (http://youtu.be/iH1eJH_YIeg) and a link was given to the police to follow up an allegation of a close pass. The email back to Craig is here:

 

 

 

 

Dear Craig,  

I have received your complaint letter relating to the events of 5 May 2014 for investigation.  

I have attempted to view the footage you refer to on youtube but I have been unable to access this site.  

To properly investigate your complaint I request the video evidence be copied to a DVD data file and forwarded to this office. This will enable a Police Prosecutor or Magistrate to view the video in a format presentable as evidence should the matter proceed to Court.  

Please be advised I require 60 seconds of video BEFORE AND AFTER the alleged incident be supplied. This will negate any allegation by the driver that your manner of riding instigated or contributed to the alleged incident.  

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.  

Regards,  

XXXXXXXXXXXXX  

  Sergeant Upper Mount Gravatt Road   Policing Unit  

Road Policing Command   Queensland   Police Service  

  2132 Logan Road  , Upper Mount Gravatt QLD 4122  

Ph:33643141 Fax: 38493906 

 

The officer, a Sargeant, requested a DVD to be supplied, which Craig gave them, with an extra 60 seconds each side. 

Dear XXXXXXXXXXXX,

Thank you for your email.

I will burn a copy of the footage to DVD and post it to your address as noted in your .sig below.

Regarding the YouTube footage, it should be accessible, however, I do know that some organisations restrict access to sites such as YouTube.  If your work PC doesn’t allow access to YouTube, you should be able to view the footage on a personal device.  The link is … http://youtu.be/iH1eJH_YIeg

Regards,

Craig Cowled.

 

The next response was flooring to Craig, in case anyone doesn't know who Craig is (not posting the clip) he was the video clip the media roll out everytime they want to show what happens when a driver sideswipes a rider.

Craig,  

Thank you for sending in the video. I tried to ring you this (Friday) afternoon but no answer.

I have viewed the video 6 times. I have sought the opinion of other experienced officer’s and they concur with my observations that:-

  • Before the incident your were riding within a meter or less of the kerb;
  • Immediately prior to the Holden utility passing your cycle, you veer right, in what I estimate is almost a meter from your original line of travel;
  • The Holden utility is heard to sound the horn in warning, in my opinion, because you have veered from your original line of travel.

In my opinion, there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the driver of the Holden. Police are bound by a ‘Sufficiency of Evidence’ test when considering instigating charges against any person. If a prosecution were to be instigated in this instance, any defence would point out the issues I have outlined above and I believe the prosecution would fail.

Perception is a powerful thing. Clearly your perception is this driver has done something dangerous. Another person would explain the driver’s actions as I have above. I urge you to review the video and check that you have in fact moved from your original line of travel and that an ordinary person (or a Magistrate) may come to the same conclusion.

I am in no way attempting to minimise your concerns. As you can see I have taken the matter seriously and investigated the evidence available to me. I will be logging your complaint on the QPS complaints database.

I regret I cannot assist you further in this matter, but should you wish to discuss it with the Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Shaun Dinon, you may do so by mail or phone on 3364 3139.

Regards,

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

Let's let Craig correct the details and let you watch the video clip. 

 

Dear XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,

It seems as though you are looking at different footage than I am.  What I see from the rear view footage is that I maintain a distance of approximately 0.5m from the gutter at all times.  At the point where the ute passes me, I am about 0.5m from the gutter.  I maintain a consistent line for the entire time that the Holden utility would have seen me.  Also, the horn you are hearing is my AirZound.  The driver of the Holden utility acknowledged my horn by waving apologetically.

I reiterate that this pass was dangerous.  Since the new 1m / 1.5m law was passed on 7 April 2014 I have been passed closely on numerous occasions, however, I do not bother submitting anything unless I feel it was dangerous.  If you view the footage closely, you will see that the first car to pass me also gave me less than 1.5m clearance, however, in my view, it was not dangerously close.

I agree, perception is a powerful thing.  Currently, there is a perception out there that the Queensland Police Service is fobbing off cyclist's very genuine concerns.  This is reinforced by the fact that cyclists are routinely subjected to frivolous policing of trivial matters such as not wearing a helmet while tootling on the footpath or not having a little bell or not putting one's foot down on the ground at a stop sign (despite the fact that the cyclist in question did actually stop by doing a track stand) or speeding down Mt Coot-tha even though the person does not have a speedometer fitted to the bike.  Conversely, when the extremely dangerous actions of a person in control of 2 Tonnes of steel propelling that vehicle at high speed dangerously close to a person on an 8kg bicycle and the Queensland Police Service try to trivialise this matter, perception is very powerful.

Do not try to misrepresent footage which clearly does not show me 'veering' right, clearly shows me within 0.5m of the gutter, and clearly has audio of me sounding my AirZound.

Perception is a very powerful thing indeed.

I urge you to have another look at the footage.  Take into account that the lane is very narrow.  Pay close attention to the right wheels of the utility.  

The rear facing footage will give you an indication of my line.

Regards,

Craig

 

What do you think should have happened? We believe the driver is truly sorry and offered to work with the police for the dangerous overtake. It is not the drivers fault that the police have failed to follow this up. The Police Minister and the Transport Minister have asked for examples of dangerous overtaking to be handed to the police, but it appears they don't want to view them. Does that mean the protection offered is only available when the police are present, we know tickets have been issued to other drivers.