"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.
- a cyclist has an obligation to report an incident (for example a 'near-miss') to police in which
- they have sustained some kind of anxiety or trauma (an injury) and
- 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.
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.
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
What steps do the police need to take?
Officers directed to investigate an incident such as a 'near miss' that causes trauma should:
- 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.
- 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.