Category Archives for General Cycling

The 3 Step Powerplay (That Gets the Police to Investigate Cyclist’s Complaints)

"

"Fortunately for cyclists you can force a police investigation into the actions of dangerous drivers.  Just follow a simple civil law process."


Emily Billiau - Principal, CycleLaw

We can all agree that a 'near miss' on the roads can be terrifying.  


Imagine the cyclist's level of frustration when they take he video footage to the local police station only to hear one of these excuses:-

  • “There is insufficient evidence to warrant further investigation”;
  • “There is not any public interest in issuing an infringement notice to the driver”;
  • “An investigation isn’t warranted given the expense involved”.

3 points that trigger an investigation

Traffic incidents and crashes may be reported to Qld Police in a number of circumstances. For example:-

  • Pursuant to s. 92(1) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act and s. 287(3) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management–Road Rules) Regulation.   This piece of legislation sets out the duties and liabilities of drivers involved in road incidents;


  • Pursuant to s. 34 the Motor Accident Insurance Act.  
  1. a cyclist has an obligation to report an incident (for example a 'near-miss') to police in which 
  2. they have sustained some kind of anxiety or trauma (an injury)  and 
  3. intend to make a civil claim against the offending driver.


The cyclist does not have to report the incident if points 2 and 3 above are not applicable.

But let's say that points 2 and 3 are on the table.  

Then......

Officers receiving reports of traffic incidents involving  psychological trauma are to ensure that the incident is recorded and investigated in accordance with their Operational Procedures Manual.

“It is a fact of law that police are obliged to investigate certain types of road incidents.


You cannot be turned away.


You do not have to accept their reasoning or excuses.


This is the law.


Remember our laws apply to law enforcers too.


let's all work together to make the roads safer.

​​​​Emily Billiau - Principal, CycleLaw

Reporting an incident to a police should not be an intimidating experience.  You should not feel as if you are the offender.  If you are worried you won't be taken seriously run your story past me (by clicking on the orange button below) before you go to the police station.


What steps do cyclists need to take?

So, if you are  traumatised by an incident and intend to make a claim against the driver, you are required by law to ensure a police officer is notified of the incident.

For best results we suggest  giving the investigating officer a completed ‘Report of traffic incident to police’ form. Click here for the form.  

Once you have the form it's a pretty straight forward process:

1. fill out the form

2. take it to the police station

3. speak to the officer in charge of the station who will

4. assign the notice/form to an investigating officer 

the investigating officer should provide you with an occurrence number which you can use to follow up your claim against the driver

Emily Billiau

Principal, Cyclelaw

What steps do the police need to take?

Officers directed to investigate an incident such as a 'near miss' that causes trauma should:

  1. obtain statements from any witnesses to the incident (most likely yourself and the driver). We have a template witness statement that you can use - get it here.
  2. record the details of the incident in their official police notebook and any additional details which may assist the investigation of the incident, such as details of:
  • all persons and vehicles (bikes) directly involved in the incident and any other person who may be able to assist in the subsequent investigation; (such as other cyclists)
  • the damage to the vehicle(s) (including bikes) involved in the incident and including information of the general condition of the vehicle(s) (bikes) and the position of the hand brake and gear lever;
  • other scene evidence such as traffic lights, signs, road markings, skid marks, etc., by sketch plan and video evidence.

5 Reasons Why Bicycles Should Not Be Registered

Hopping on his bike for his ride home, Jeff had decided to head home a little earlier than usual on Thursday in an effort to beat the usual peak-hour traffic. Little did he know that this would sadly be his last, as a Sydney bus would strike him at a busy road crossing in Neutral Bay.

This horrific accident would result in the re-ignition of the age-old debate as to whether bicycles should be licensed, this time in parliament. This is not uncommon. Every time a news report to do with bicycles is published, the push for bicycle registrations begins – even when it is often not the cyclist at fault.

Various articles and studies published by regulatory bodies and road safety experts from all over the world conclude that bicycle registration is not an effective way to generate funding for roads or to increase road safety.

Here are the five reasons why bicycle registrations should not be registered:

  1. Car registration does not “pay for the roads”.
    There is a common misconception that motorists pay for building and maintaining roads through fees such as vehicle registration and licenses.  Roads are actually funded through general taxation – as taxpayers, we all pay for them. Further, urban/suburban roads – those most commonly used by cyclists – are maintained by local councils. When a cyclist is riding locally, chances are their rent or rates payments help fund the road they’re on.
  1. The expense of implementing a bicycle registration scheme would outweigh any benefits.
    A New South Wales government report prepared by the Sustainable Transport Manager says the annual cost for a driver’s licence covers the administrative costs of issuing that license only. Unless bicycle registration fees were considerably more expensive than car license fees (which is not likely), administration costs would guzzle up any potential revenue raised. And if the costs blew out, the funds would need to come out of everyone’s pockets – not just bike riders.This view is not unique to New South Wales. Bicycle registration has been considered across the globe, and the cost of the concept has consistently been found to outweigh any potential benefits. For example, in Ottawa, Canada it was estimated that a bicycle registration program would cost $100,000 a year, but only bring in $40,000 in revenue.
  1. Registration would discourage people from cycling.
    One of the benefits of cycling is that it is a mode of transportation accessible to all, whether young or old. Sure, keen cyclists would likely register their bikes and continue to cycle.  But would casual riders bother to sign up?If Sunday family bike rides or participation in initiatives such as Ride2Work Day and charity rides involved registering and paying a fee, many people would likely miss out on discovering the advantages of bike riding.From a public health perspective, it’s a nightmare as it add yet another barrier to Australian’s getting enough physical activity.
  1. No nation in the world has bike registration.At least not with number plates and significant fees. A recent literature review conducted for the Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales found that bicycle registration schemes have been trialled and ditched in a number of communities – often because it is too difficult and expensive to regulate. Recently in Houston, the law requiring cyclists to register their bicycle was abolished. It was found that out of the thousands of bicycles being used within the city, only about 100 were actually registered.
  1. Registering bicycles won’t fix the problem.
    Other countries are leaps and bounds ahead of Australia when it comes to cycling, which suggests the real problem lies with our road culture. Getting more people in the saddle and cycling on our roads will increase awareness and bring added safety and acceptance – a goal we should all work towards.

Fun fact: Bicycles have existed for more than a century – longer than cars. Did you know that bicycle registration was debated in Australia in the 1930s, and knocked back?  Perhaps, motorists need to become more accommodating of their two-wheeled comrades.

Written by Claire McHardy | Solicitor

Best Cycle Paths For Kids In Brisbane

From 4km to 11km

 

Woolcock Park, Red Hill to Newmarket

  • 7km long return trip
  • Follows Ithaca Creek so look out for ducks and water dragons
  • Shaded by trees for most of the way and only one quiet road to cross
  • Trail bike area along the way

 

Ted Smout Bridge,Clontarf to Woody Point Jetty

  • Hornibrook Esplanade section of the Redcliffe Peninsula
  • Part of 40km of virtually uninterupted foreshore cycle paths
  • 11km long return trip
  • Lots of activity along the way including fish and chips,playgrounds,kite flying and jet skis

 

Waterloo Esplanade,Wynnum to Manly Marina

  • 10km return trip along the foreshore.
  • Includes the Wynnum water park
  • Fish and chips everywhere
  • Plenty of playgrounds along the way

 

Bishop Street to Northey Street City Farm

  • Just a short 4km ride
  • Riding through an open reserve
  • Goes alongside Enoggera Creek
  • Joins up with the Bowen Bridge Heritage Trail

 

Orleigh Park,West End to under The William Jolly Bridge,South Brisbane

  • Follows the Brisbane river for 4km
  • Lots of energy and activity as well as boat life to enjoy
  • Stunning views across the river to Toowong
  • Easy access to hop on and off the City Cat

Information Sheet – Electric Bicycles

Electric Bicycles

What is an Electric Bicycle?

An electric bicycle (or e-bike) is a bicycle with a motorised assistance.

There are two types of legal motorised bicycles:-

  1. Those that require the cyclist to move the pedals to maintain electrical assistance (pedalec); and
  2. Bicycles with a handlebar throttle, that allow a cyclist to travel without using the pedals1

Design Rules / Requirements

The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are national standards which dictate vehicle requirements. For vehicles manufactured post-1989, the application of the ADRs is the responsibility of the Federal Government pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (Cth).

In 2012, changes were announced to the national vehicle safety standards in relation to power-assisted bicycles.

There are two types of legal motorised bicycles in Queensland (as described above) and the requirements vary for each. The pedalec type of bicycle must comply with the European Standard for Power Assisted Pedal Cycles (EN15194). The bicycle can have a maximum of only 250 watts of power and must be marked to show that it complies with the standard.

Bicycles with a handlebar throttle can have a motor that generates no more than 200 watts of power. If it is capable of generating more than 200 watts of power or has an internal combustion engine, then the bicycle must comply with Australian Design Rules for a motorbike and cannot be ridden on roads or road-related areas if it does not comply with these standards.

Do riders of Electric Bicycles have to comply with the Road Rules?

Yes. Bicycles are considered vehicles under legislation in Queensland, and so riders must obey the general road rules as they apply to vehicle operators.

 

1NB – The pedals should still be the primary source of power for the bicycle. If a rider can complete a journey without using the pedals and powered solely by the motor, then this would not be classed as a motorised bicycle

By Emily Billiau and Gemma Sweeney