Close pass again. Sigh.

April 27, 2017 at 11:51 | Posted in bicycles | 4 Comments
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You may remember a while ago I took some footage of a car passing very close to the cops. The reaction was surprisingly positive, you may recall. Well, it happened again the other day. So I thought I would take it in as well, and also take the opportunity to find out what had happened to my other complaint.

To help with this latest one, I also took some footage of my bike placed exactly one metre away from a parked car, for comparison. And from that comparison, it’s pretty clear the car passed me with only about 50cm clearance – enough to cause a shiver of worry. It’s really unpleasant to have a car that close. I saw a really good picture on social media that summed it up the other day:

So, what was the reaction of the cops this time? Well, rather less good. The officer at first didn’t even want to look at the video. then, after looking at it, he justified the behaviour of the driver, as ‘he probably didn’t want to go over the double white lines’. The fact that he had just gone straight on in a turn right only lane apparently was of no interest either.

Then it got worse. He told me it wasn’t too bad, and that the car couldn’t have been close to me as ‘I didn’t flinch’. He rejected out of hand my picture taken at the one metre distance, and told me that there was no way to tell if it was accurate, and he didn’t think the car was too close. He declined my invitation to go and do the sample one metre distance footage again outside the police station with him watching.

He then told me he would be taking absolutely no action.

I insisted on making a statement anyway, but it was clearly pointless. Here was a cop (Constable Joly, from Chatswood Police Station, for the record) who was justifying the dangerous driving of a law-breaking motorist, and also blaming me (the victim) for not reacting properly.

Oh, and the other complaint? Also dead, with no follow-up done or intended.

Meanwhile, the blitzes on bicycle bells continue. Fines rain down on hapless cyclists for trivial offences. And cyclists continue to die.


You can judge the footage yourself here.


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  1. I’ve submitted over a dozen complaints in Qld regarding close passes in breach of the 1m law. Nothing resulting from any of them (some with gopro, some without). My latest close pass (and abuse) from an entitled motorist resulted in this email response:

    “Just a courtesy email to inform you that The Gap Police have received your complaint. Whilst we will make contact with the driver of the nominated vehicle it is highly unlikely any enforcement action will be commenced in this instance as there is no video footage of the incident and no supporting evidence. Our usual process in these situations is to caution the driver and inform them of the relevant legislation.”

    So, why bother? From this response it is plainly clear that they never intend to enforce this rule. It’s useless.

  2. The situation shown worries me less because the car is moving quickly past, and is in control of their space.

    I get a lot more concerned when a driver squeezes between me and oncoming traffic, or the next lane, and they’re hoping that the other cars don’t push them into me. That’s much more dangerous because they’re not in control of their space.

    I find the worst for doing that are P platers. Girls who think they need to maintain their place in the traffic (being ‘normal’), and boys driving powerful cars who hate being held up by a bike (being impatient).

  3. The above is made worse when you’re holding a metre out from cars to avoid being doored, and the passing driver thinks you’re just trying to hold them up. So they might try to show you a lesson by passing close.

    I just wish drivers were educated in interacting with cyclists, because a lot have no idea.

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