You need evidence. And the two big ones will be video evidence and your own statement. But it's not 'what' evidence you need that counts as much as it's the 'how' it is presented. Read on...right to the end.
What do the police need?
To successfully prosecute a driver in Court, it is necessary for Qld Police to have evidence to support the case.
The police prosecutor must be able to prove the case.
What are the four things the police will consider?
Well, they don't need you to take your evidence to the police in Scotland, but no doubt sometimes you probably feel as if that might get you a better result.
So here's what they do need.....
If you say one thing and the driver of the vehicle contradicts what you say, then the police officer (and ultimately the Court if police prosecute the matter) will have to decide which version they accept.
In order to convince police of your version, you need to be able to present them with solid evidence.
You can help persuade them…
Qld Police will then make the decision as to whether they iIssue a traffic infringement notice (and ultimately prosecute the matter in the Court).
They will do so on the basis of all of the evidence that is available to them at the conclusion of their investigation into the incident.
They will critique:
- the reliability of the evidence;
- your character;
- the character of the driver, and
- the character of any independent witnesses to the incident.
The first two are particularly important...
...in many cases where the cyclist is reporting a 1m breach, the police will not have spoken to the offending motorist.
principal, Cycle law
What evidence can the police accept?
Evidence can take several forms – for example, it may be lead in the form of documents, witness statements and video recordings.
What are the Rules of Evidence
In Queensland, the Evidence Act 1977 (Qld) prescribes the rules which govern the procedure and admissibility of evidence in the Courts.
The rules are aimed at ensuring fairness.
Evidence will only allowed into Court (admissible) if it is relevant.
And it is only relevant where its existence tends to indicate that one of the facts in issue (or one of the versions (yours or the drivers)) is more likely than the other.
get RELEVANT evidence
Evidence is only relevant where its existence tends to indicate that one of the facts in issue (or one of the versions - yours or the driver's) is more likely than the other.
Exclusion of evidence - what won't be considered?
While generally speaking, evidence that is relevant will be admissible, there are a number of exclusionary rules that may prevent evidence from being considered by a Court.
Probably the most well known exclusion is that of hearsay.
Hearsay evidence will not be admitted.
For example, if Emily tells Ashley that she had seen a third person, Anne (a motorist), pass a cyclist only allowing a gap of 0.5m, Ashley would not, as a general rule, be able to give evidence of Emily’s statement against Anne in Court.
One of the other more common exclusions relates to opinion & expert evidence.
When a person gives evidence it ought to be a direct account of what that person actually saw.
A person's interpretation or opinion cannot normally be admitted as evidence.
For example, if Emily, Ashley and Anne were riding together in single file (and in that order), and Anne was clipped from behind by a motorist, Emily and/or Ashley could not give that they assume Anne was clipped by the motorist because they did not actually see that occur.
OK, so how about my video evidence then?
Video evidence is a good place to start.
If it captures the incident itself, it cannot easily be excluded as hearsay or opinion evidence. It has to be taken at face value.
And whilst the video might not capture everything, it is a much better starting point than the usual “he said, she said” incident police are faced with.
Video sounds great, is there anything else I need?
” A well prepared written statement (that you can do yourself) will go a long way to letting the police know you are serious ”
Written statements should include enough factual and persuasive information as possible. If you do most of the work, you are making it easy for the police - and you will most likely get a much better response.
The statement should include things like your personal details, geography descriptions, date and time, position of other roads and traffic islands etc, how the accident occurred and so on.
Get our free statement template
We have prepared a document to help cyclists prepare their own incident statements.
It is kept in a closed facebook group called "The Revolution".
The Revolution is comprised of like-minded cyclists who are pushing for reform to make our roads safer. Join the group and get the statement template. You can also participate in an active online community that is troll free.