It would seem that there will be a campaign to raise awareness of car dooring with drivers in Victoria in 2012 http://www.bv.com.au/general/bikes-and-riding/93916/. It would be great if a similar campaign could be run in SA.
Being car doored is one of the hazards which concerns me most on the roads as there often no time to react if someone flings a car door in front of you at the last minute. Of course I try to take the appropriate precautions to avoid being in a door zone in the first place, but sometime where space is tight or the door is large, one can still get caught out.
I am glad to hear you are healing Paul. There is something wrong with our justice system though where you have endured pain and suffering since the accident while the perpetrator has apparently been able to drive away with just a slap on the wrist. Is it correct that police just said that they were going to take no more action than a warning?
Hi Paul, good to hear you are healing. Guess you'll have a new scar as a conversation point - yikes!
Maybe you could clear up a little confusion - has SAPOL not more strenuously pursued the negligent driver because you have not pressed the issue or is it that in their eyes they have done enough?
While the result may not be much different, I think there is a difference between a wreck-less, illegal , but apparently unintentional act, and an act of assault which deliberately seeks to harm someone. We all make mistakes, but we need to be prepared to own them when we do. If the car doorer had stopped and apologized and tried to render assistance, a slap on the wrist might have been appropriate for a first offense, but to just drive off like that should result in the full force of the law.
And a comparison:
A Para Hills man, 21, was charged with driving without due care, failing to stop and leaving the scene of an accident.
So swap "driving without due care" with "opening door into oncoming traffic" and all else is the same. At face value it would appear SAPOL has arrested and charged the driver at their volition, not waiting for the injured party to press the matter...
"The arrest was part of Operation Safe Pedestrians, which is aimed at increasing awareness of safety issues for pedestrians and reducing road trauma involving pedestrians."
Do we need to have an "Operation Safe Cyclists" in order to have arrests made?
It emphasises that cyclists come after pedestrians in the pecking order. Actually we cyclists come fourth after animals. Do you recall the driver who was jailed after hitting and killing a horse? In Adelaide in 2011, either March or May.
Actually I putted this issue on my paper when i do my assignment on topic "how to make Adelaide better city".
They are encouraging people to use bicycle but at same time they are not really care about cyclist safety.
My Victorian Greens colleague, Greg Barber MLC has moved to increase awareness of and penalties for “dooring” offences against cyclists. http://vicmps.greens.org.au/dooring
This move was the result of a number of horrendous cases including a recent death. The standard penalty in Victoria is a $122 expiation, but as we know, most offences are not reported and not punished.
The expiation fee in South Australia is $155. Under subrule 269(3) of the Australian Road Rules (the Rules) it is an offence to “…cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle”. The Rules can be found at the following link: http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/R/AUSTRALIAN%20ROAD%20RULES.aspx, while the expiation fee provision is in Part 3 of Schedule 9 of the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous) Regulations 1999: http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/R/ROAD%20TRAFFIC%20(MISCELLAN...
I think a similar campaign and legislative reform in SA is also warranted. We need higher fines and loss of demerit points.
Sadly, the effectiveness of such campaigns often relies on having a number of horror stories, preferably with pictures. Eg. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/doored-and-down-hurt-cyclist-now-.... Do you know of any similar SA cases?
Mark Parnell MLC
Mark, a fine would have been something in my case.
Hi Paul, of course your case is one that we can use thanks to your camera and the subsequent news footage. I've separately emailed Christian at Bicycle SA and Jeremy at BISA to see if we can co-ordinate something with the cycling groups. I'm keen to pursue this in Parliament.
As for the lack of a fine, sadly, that's par for the course. My wife was a week in hospital and two months in a wheel chair and the police didn't even have the interest to interview the driver who ran her down in a bike lane after failing to give way. A caution was the only consequence.
Is there any mileage in taking out a civil case against the perpetrators or the police for negligence? Has anyone tried this before?
Mark, thanks for trying to improve cyclist safety. I have been permanently injured (back probs) due to 3 negligent drivers, yet not one was even fined. If police and courts acted, and negligent drivers fined ($1,000 rather than $100), then the driver and his/her contacts would be educated as the driver communicated the fine size to others. Instead authorities send a message that it is OK to hit and injure cyclists. SA needs Strict Liability Legislation so that authorities do not wriggle out of acting when cyclists are hit by errant drivers.
We met when you signed my petition to keep bicycle lanes. (For 2 years it appeared that the State Govt cycling strategy would be ignored on Prospect Road.) I coordinate 4 cycling advocacy groups on AC and email a monthly BUG News to your office. Willing to assist in any cycling safety campaign.