Cycling in Brisbane Australia
Well - since these lovely new laws I'm now getting close shaved most days. Some are really quite close. I'm not concerned about the letter of the law - if someone is reasonable and does what they can I'm not going to argue the toss, but when I've got a mirror passing within a foot or so of my bar ends for no good reason that concerns me.
On Scott Emmerson's recommendation I've got myself a rear facing camera... so I've got footage of these close encounters. In the last week alone I've had about four close shaves. Two of which are very blatant and in clear violation of the new laws. The footage is good and the plates visible.
So, I was considering following the cycle template and reporting both instances.
This is a pretty significant time commitment - I'd reckon an hour for each one. Given how often this is now happening I was wondering whether anything will actually happen.
Has anyone reported this stuff and heard of any action or am I just wasting my time?
It's not a problem on my commute, as I have little or no exposure to traffic on it.
On Wednesday last week it was coming into Mt Glorious. Sunday was Ashgrove Avenue and Payne road the gap.
Just to clarify, I would estimate that maybe 50% of the traffic I strike on these roads do not meet the letter of the law. IE riding up Nebo this morning much of the traffic was in violation of the law (it's 60+ so 1.5m). However there were none this morning that I would even consider reporting - and I felt safe at all times. I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to argue the toss here - it's only people that make no effort to pass safely/deliberately shave me that I want to report. It's this kind of behavior that I believe has increased since the new law.
Conversely, there were a few cars that slowed, waited patiently and then changed lanes to pass us. Bravo - and this is also new behavior since the law change.
I should write up my experiences at some stage with some gifs to show the offenders.
Before the law I used to get buzzed quite a lot, and now on the same road most drivers are giving the required passing distance - many are now realising that they need to be in the other lane to safely overtake.
I've made 2 reports to police since the new 1m passing law.
First report: Helmet mounted video evidence. Clear view of how the passing car near some traffic lights wedged between myself and a car in the centre lane. Video evidence was enhanced by the sound of me lashing out in panic and hitting the back of their car with my hand. Note: I was seriously asked by the police whether or not my arm was over a metre long. Eventually the guy was fined.
Second report: Same helmet mounted video evidence. Police claimed that the video didn't simultaneously show: my position on the road (including my tyre on the road) and the passing cars distance from me such that they could see on the video (and possibly measure) the cars overtaking distance. I asked how them how the hell I'm supposed to get that perspective of a car overtaking me and did they expect me to have a car following me everywhere taking video?
I urged them to look at the road markings which clearly showed that no matter how I was travelling, the position of the passing cars tyres on the road indicated his position and there was no physical way for there to be 1m distance between us. They refused to consider passing it to traffic for analysis, and in the end a couple of cops with no expert knowledge felt that "Meh, I'm not going to make any effort to confirm the distances by looking critically at the video". No action was taken.
An arm over a metre long? Well, with MattG's not-so-secret identity as Active Transport Man, you might be a superhero with Elastigirl-like powers too...
I asked how them how the hell I'm supposed to get that perspective of a car overtaking me and did they expect me to have a car following me everywhere taking video?
You need an autonomous drone that'll keep the camera focused on you. (And you need to go for rides that are less than 30mins or the battery will go flat). You need AirDog!
I asked how them how the hell I'm supposed to get that perspective of a car overtaking me ...
Sounds silly and may look silly, but a camera boom off the back of the bike facing your back. Wouldn't have to be very long. you could even mount it low to get the position of the wheel on the road as they wanted.
A boom off the rear stay would be easy enough to rig temporarily.
Perhaps try it and see what footage you get.
I don't know that cyclist. Pretty stupid behaviour by him. His aggression and actions only served to intimidate the driver and not educate him. If you talk to a driver stay calm, don't swear, and certainly don't act aggressively. Otherwise your message won't be communicated and you look like the bad guy.
If the driver did something wrong and/or dangerous, then this has been lost by this cyclist's poor behaviour.
Well, we don't really know the full story. I agree that his actions were probably not very smart but when you're stressed & angry and quite possibly have just had your life threatened, most people will react instinctively, without much thinking.
I highly doubt the driver and other car occupants are as virtuous as the story would have us believe... and their behaviour may well have been much worse the the cyclist simply 'flipping the bird' - oh the horror!
This is a one-sided witchhunt designed to inflame the mouth breathers. It pisses me off that this sort of nonsense can end up in the papers and the police are 'onto it' when cyclists are being close passed, hit and sometimes even killed and the police & media don't give a rats.
There's a third rule - nothing reported in the media is completely accurate. EVER.
I have spent years dealing with complex things - when they hit the media, as they do from time to time, things like subtleties (and sometimes large slabs of truth) are sacrificed at the alter of delivering an 'angle' to a 'story' or, perhaps worse, lost just due to a lack of comprehension.
Of those scores of things that have been reported not once in my memory was a media report completely accurate or unbiased.
I will give you an example - which did not affect me directly, mind you. Last night on A Current Affair the journalist led with the headline:
"Family Destitute as fire destroys house - and insurer refuses to pay claim"
Sounds horrible, right?
Thing is that it turns out the family were renting and the insurer paid the claim of the landlord - the landlord is completely happy with the claims process. The family involved were completely uninsured - they held no insurance policy. That little fact was not mentioned until right at the end of the story - and the insurance company had to point it out.
In other words, there was no story about failing to pay an insurance claim. The real story was that there was a family in need - and that is a bad story for sure - but not the 'headline grabbing' ACA ran with.