Ever had that feeling you are being watched, that you are riding down the road and just know someone somewhere is watching your every move? Well, you are more likely doing the watching these days with cameras becoming more and more prevalent on our bikes and helmets. We are becoming George Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’ by ourselves and, let’s face it, there is a good reason; we need to record what is happening in order to report an incident and have it believed.

We have seen a few of these lately and more and more as we go along. But we also hear the stories about how the police ignored your report, even of being turned away or after the ambulance arrives it just no longer seems important.

 

Well, I am going to tell you something. You are probably right on the mark when trying to make a report, so we (including a copper that is very active on Cycle) decided to help you out. So here is our list of what to do and a list of what not to do. We have even included the recommendations for turning up to court to help out a fallen rider.

Firstly, the right way to handle a complaint, and a little sad truth about what is going to happen when you turn up.

If you are ever involved in an incident don’t call it an accident as there is no such thing. You either have had an incident or a crash. Use the one you are comfortable with, but accidents don’t just ‘happen’ on the road, there is always someone at fault.

Stay calm. If you are injured, but have the sense to do something, ask someone to help; get them to record as much information as possible. If you are slightly injured but walking around make sure you get the witnesses’ names and details. Make sure you get the driver’s information, but don’t trust anything to your writing; use your phone and record everything. Photograph the car rego, if you can; photograph the driver.

 

Most smart phones have a record voice app built right into them. Put it on your home page and use it.

80% of crashes are the motorists fault. 80% of the time, the driver has done something that they should not have. This was most likely not your fault, but you need to ensure you get this handled without becoming more of a victim. So what do you do?

-Go to the Police, log a complaint. If the first officer fails to show any interest, ask for his boss

-Give all the details clearly, logically – without malice

-If you have video, give it to them on a USB stick (4GB costs $2.50 from OfficeWorks)

-If you have witnesses, give all of their details

-If you have photos, print them out or put them on the memory stick

-If you have injures, give them the doctors report

-After you have done all this, tell us at Cycle or contact the Amy Gillett Foundation and advise us what has happened. If we discover patterns in areas we can report this to the police as they may miss these points.

 

Even if putting a complaint about bad driving, and you have proof of it, do the same thing. Someone that risks your life has still potentially broken the law, they may miss you today, but hit someone tomorrow.

What will happen? Well, firstly you are a vehicle. This will be treated as any vehicle-on-vehicle incident, it can take time to go through the process. Not hours, not days; it can take months.

-The officer will take your complaint and give you his name and sometimes a complaint number

-You will be asked for the best way to be contacted (give them every way, including email)

-You may not hear from them for a while, but periodically call them to see how it is progressing

-If the police decide to do a call or drop by, they will speak to the driver, if they detect an attitude they decide is in line with the complaint they tend to take further action

-They may decide to fine them through the mail; it does happen and it stops there

-They may take it to court. At any time in this process, we will not publish your video, we will not do anything to upset the chance to prosecute the driver. We recommend you keep it off YouTube and Facebook.

Why does Cycle publish videos then?

-We publish incidents that are not high profile

-That the police have continued to ignore and we feel a nudge may assist the victim (yes, name and shame)

-If it has been repeatedly reported and on the news, we may put up the news article

-If the person is not going ahead with a complaint

-The case is closed to whatever means

-The camera footage contains something we believe is more important to advise you about due to slow action from the police (usually we ask the police first)

What not to do? This is serious, do not do this no matter who you think you are. If the Police find out you have done any of the following, you may end up at the wrong end of the law for interfering in a Police investigation; they may also stop investigating and close the case as ‘resolved by complainant.’

-Do not approach the driver yourself, you just don’t know

-Do not approach the company they work for, this is why we have police

-Do not attack online or ‘troll’ as you can be arrested for such behaviour

-Do not ever take the law into your own hands – we have all heard stories of this ending badly

-Never publish your personal ability to successfully take your own revenge (even better, never take revenge)

The advice you should receive from anyone that is not in the legal profession is simple, if it isn’t to go to the police, they have given you bad advice; the blog IHateHills states as much. If you come to AGF or Cycle before logging it with the police, we will be asking you to do that first.

 

We hope you never need any of this, but we feel you need to ensure you are aware of your rights and obligations.

 

Links:

Amy Gillett Foundation http://wwwfacebook.com/amygillettfoundation/ 

Cycle http://www.facebook.com/cycle.org.au

IHateHills blog post http://ihatehills.org/2014/02/20/if-you-cant-give-good-advice-then-give-none/


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