Is There Any Point Reporting a Dangerous Cyclist?

Posting this here as this forum is usually pretty pragmatic regarding issues of law and the road. I'll keep this brief, as the details aren't super important. Every day on my walk to and from work in Melbourne CBD I see the same cyclist break the same law. He effectively takes a 'short cut' up a busy one-way street (for both pedestrians and cars), slices around a pedestrian island the wrong way, and flies across two sets of tram lines to get to the far left lane so he can turn left at a major road.

The other night on my walk home from work I was crossing the one way street to get to the traffic island and I was looking up the road to ensure I wasn't hit by a car. This guy comes haring around the corner to my left, chops me off, and misses hitting me by an inch. Furious because he'd almost struck me, I crossed the street appropriately, and managed to catch up to the guy because he wound up getting stopped at the light. I'm a relatively capable looking person, especially when mad, and I gave the guy both barrels for nearly hitting me while going the wrong way up the street. Like most cowards do when confronted, he dropped his eyes and quaked like a scolded dog all-the-while indicating he understood why what he'd done was incredibly dangerous.

Of course (and this will shock you I'm sure…/s) being yelled at by a pissed off person didn't have an impact, and he's still at it. I've seen him do the exact same maneuver three mornings this week and the bottom line is that if he keeps this up, sooner or later he's going to strike and hurt a pedestrian while they're looking right while crossing and watching for cars, because they won't be expecting an erratic vehicle to be coming the other way.

Me having another go at this guy isn't going to do squat, because people who always put themselves first don't modify their behaviour unless there are consequences. I'd like to report this to the Police because the dude is regular as clockwork and if they were to station a car on site between 7.45 and 8.15am, or even between 4.45 and 5.15pm (don't ask me why this guy's going the same direction twice in one day…) on literally any weekday they'd nab him and be able to issue an official warning or fine.

It's so petty though that I assume they'll either consider me a nuisance, or they'll just patiently take my report, file it under 'today's time-wasters' and that'll be the end of it. Has anyone else done anything effective about a situation like this, and if so how did you go about it?

Please be mindful that I'm not 'anti-bike' by any means. I just don't want to ignore a preventable accident waiting to happen.

Comments

  • -1 vote

    Just report him and move on.

    • +3 votes

      To whom though? Just walk into a cop shop somewhere in the CBD and make a report? I've never really done this before.

      •  

        Yes. Or call 131 444 for advice first.

      •  

        To whom though?

        I'd like to report this to the Police

        Just report your concerns to the Police and don't worry what may or may not happen after that.

        There seems to be a few road rage issues popping up at the moment so your timing to report this may be spot on.

    • +2 votes

      Fear not, he will Bingle it, and move on:

      Evolution always works, given time. And it is far more reliable than the old bill, esp. for dealing with idiots for misdemeanors, not to mention fast ones on two wheels…

      Pity him, he's only saving time to lose time.

      One day you'll just stop seeing him and wonder what happened. Then you will remember that probability and math have demonstrably solved this equation millions of times before.

  • +1 vote

    damned if you do damned if you don't.

  • -2 votes

    That's not the issue, the issue is if he had hit you, you were injured and he ran away….how would you try and get a hold of him (or anyone who did that).

    • +15 votes

      I'm afraid I don't get your point. You can't presuppose that just because the bloke commits a daily risky infringement that by extension he'd gladly commit a hit-and-run. I'm more interested in discussing how to respond to the crime I see him actually committing, not some speculative worse crime that he hasn't.

      •  

        I'm not saying specifically him, but there are people who would be able to do that. If the worse does happen, then what's the plan? Or should we just wait until it occurs?

        I don't think you can do much if they're 'just' riding dangerously. The police isn't going to track each person and look at cctv for evidence. So it's a futile attempt at this stage. But if we start talking about what could happen if a cyclist did the worst thing, then maybe there will be a need to do more about this problem.

        FYI, I've seen many people get hit by cyclist and they run away, but how do you catch/identify them?

        • +4 votes

          How do you identify them?

          Same way you catch and identify purse snatchers on foot, with difficulty.

          There are cowards that run away in all walks of life, just as there are those that will own up to the actions.

  • +11 votes

    IPYF

    Film the cyclist in the act over several days, take the footage to the cops.
    If they don't act, your may be able to get your local newspaper or similar to do a brief article on their Facebook page.

    • +5 votes

      I'm impressed the OP and cyclist's morning commutes are so in synch!

      If the video + Police / local newspaper don't work, OP could try following (from a distance) the cyclist to his place of work. Then make a formal complaint, with video footage, to the company. This could be done via email / web page / FB / letter. I know if someone did that to where I work, I would get in some serious strife.

      • +4 votes

        I'm impressed the OP and cyclist's morning commutes are so in synch!

        Fight Club twist: Cyclist turns out to be OP's Tyler Durden.

    • +3 votes

      What does IPYF stand for?

    • +1 vote

      Good advice, but tricky to execute. I don't have 30 min windows of my life to lie in wait for the guy and effectively do law enforcement's job for them for a slightly improved chance of action. I think it's partially random chance that I've spotted him 3 times this week considering that the whole event is a good 11 seconds long at most. It's just often enough for me to know he's still doing the thing consistently as part of his regular route, but catching him at it while I was in a position to film would require lurking, and I'm not really a well practiced lurker.

  • +4 votes

    Nope, no point reporting, nobody cares unfortunately.

    I'd take action if and only if this person's actions were a direct threat to my or my family's safety, under those circumstances I'd have no issues assisting them in dismounting their bike so we could have a hearty curbside discussion.

    I agree that it's quite annoying to see someone's selfish actions putting others at risk, but you're figiting an uphill battle and something something life's too short….

    •  

      How come everyone on ozbargain seems to think that police never does their job?

      I've reported very minor things to police twice (and only because I need their report as evidence for a 3rd party) and I was surprised how much effort they put into it, ie. calling me 3 times to ask for more details, checking cctv, etc.

      Just report it. It takes a few minutes only.

      If they don't act, you can still come back to ozbargain and complain about them, but never reporting anything and still complaining that they don't do anything seems a bit ineffective.

      •  

        I'm not saying they don't do their job, they're just too under resourced to chase up something like this.

  • +4 votes

    I'd make a brief report at the local police station so they have a past record. Be precise with the specifics of at least one incident (date, time, location). You never know cause there might be one or more other pedestrians who've been in similar situation with the cyclist so it will help the local Police gauge the scale of the problem as well as strengthen the case of prosecution in court.

    Then if the cyclist is so regular and predictable then why not pull out the mobile phone and start recording a few of the morning walks. Might come in handy as evidence if they do end up colliding into somebody.

    If you capture something interesting then perhaps share the video on YouTube so that OzBargainers can get a more complete perspective and advise.

    I personally don't hold out much hope that Police will act unless there is strong evidence. I am sure there are OzBargainers who could tell a similar story but replace the cyclist with selfish old white person on a high speed motorized mobility scooter.

  • +2 votes

    I'd call the police assistance line and make some sort of report. I really doubt they will do anything with it proactively, but if an incident does happen, it will be in the system somewhere.

    I remember reading about this girl that got her teeth knocked out when a cyclist hit her and she had to try and sue to get medical bills paid.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/pedestrian-emily-greenwood-run-dow...

    Some kind of report made ahead of time might help someone in the future so I think it is worth your time, even if the police don't mount an operation to wait for him.

    • +1 vote

      Yeah I think this is the approach I'll take for now. Just put in a call to the police and get this in the system with no expectations.

      • +3 votes

        Yup, little Jimmy needs to learn about responsibility sooner or later :D

        In reality it probably wouldn't make any difference, reporting dangerous drivers is an exercise in futility so why would this be any different?

        • +3 votes

          We should send all Jimmy's friends to law school before kindy, too. And legislate them all to drive 4 wheel bikes whilst we're at it, so then everyone's truly equal on the road. Except for the pedestrians who can simply remain afraid as they well should be.

          No better way to set them up for a paternal society that teaches children to sit on the couch and be sedentary as anything else is dangerous and risky, and that they only need to care about personal responsibility as far as it is written in law.

    • +5 votes

      Definitely need bike rego, coz having a rego plate on cars stops them from doing the wrong thing and makes it easy to catch who did it.

  • -2 votes

    Did you get his number plate? oh wait… haha

    • +5 votes

      I have no doubt you're incorrect. This is about habitual lawbreaking by an individual. It's got nothing to do with the type of vehicle he happens to be utilising. If I saw a car, truck, or skateboard driver breaking a similarly dangerous law every morning where the behaviour was consistent, I'd be equally inclined to do something about it. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not out to get cyclists, so the fight you are picking is wasted on me.

  •  

    As a cyclist I see drivers and cyclists doing similar things everyday. I want to report them too but unless there is video evidence I don't see the point and plus police haven't got the time unless it's endangering lives. What this cyclist did is not as dangerous as using your mobile when driving yet people still do it everyday.

  •  

    Shouldn't you look both ways when crossing a road, even if it is one way?

    • +1 vote

      Of course you should look both ways. I looked right (into oncoming traffic), left, right again like they teach you at kindergarten, then I stepped out keeping oncoming traffic in my periphery. The guy on the bike probably came round the corner to my left a little before I stepped out (probably he saw no cars, so he figured the timing was good for him) so he pelted out to do his usual maneuver and all of a sudden there was a pedestrian in his path. It's a common place to cross the road and anyone following a similarly reasonable pedestrian process is at risk of being struck by this bloke doing exactly the same thing.

  •  

    I honestly don't think you can do anything about it. It's pretty infuriating when you see someone habitually breaking the rules, but I doubt the cops would do anything - for comparison, the majority of cyclists reporting incidents with video footage typically get no action, and this would be broadly in the same bucket I imagine.

    My usual tactic is to try and modify my routine to remove the conflict… sure you're 'giving in' but you're unlikely to get anywhere and it's just causing you stress, so you may as well just hide from it ;)

    •  

      I'm not really concerned for my own safety. I've been crossing this street extra-cautiously ever since I realised this dingus was going to pull this move around the same time I cross that street every day. I'm worried he's going to hit someone else who isn't aware of him. If he were to nearly hit me again given my level of awareness about this, I'd border on considering it a 'more fool me' situation.

      •  

        Make a huge warning/beware poster of the cyclist, and tape it somewhere near the corner. Even better if you managed to get photo on him.

  • -1 vote

    bikies.

  •  

    Film the behaviour next time you see it and report to the local police station, then at least if something does happen in the future there's proof of what they have been doing. There are specific bike police in Melbourne CBD, you never know they might be bored enough to check it out.

    Which street is this?

  •  

    You could thank him for saving the environment by cycling or recognise that Melbourne CBD is very difficult place for cyclists to ride (lots of one-way streets, very few cycle paths, no consideration of gradients). But if that's not to your taste there is one thing that would get me to ditch my bike around the Melbourne CBD:

    Send a letter to your MP to ask for cheaper public transport. Currently the 2km I ride to work costs $4.10 via public transport and $8.20 return. Over the course of the year, that equates to a return trip to Europe ($1,599 is the annual myki price). This is insane for two very short trips a workday on a crowded tram.

    The best way to get cyclists off the road is to offer them better and cheaper alternatives. Per-capita cycling is already decreasing - but if the inflation of public transport isn't resolved there is a real risk it could see a resurgence.

    • +4 votes

      I'm not particularly interested in getting cyclists 'off the road', and I'm mindful it's an environmentally friendly and health conscious mode of transport. I am however really unsure why you feel this particular comment is relevant to the situation I've presented? The whole direction of your comment seems off-topic.

      Are you implying that due to infrastructure shortcomings and the fact that cycling in Melbourne is inherently dangerous that we should concede it's somehow expected or allowable for cyclists to take liberties with the law and behave riskily? Positive benefits of cycling aside (which they should be, because I cannot see how these factors are relevant to the matter at hand), I'm afraid I can't agree with this perspective. Can you clarify, or are you just another person who assumes I'm seeking to 'come at' cyclists using the incident I've raised as some kind of examplar of a larger issue (not the case) so you've just decided to charge off on a bit of a tangent?

      • +6 votes

        In fairness, your response is quite reasonable and I probably have used the cloak of anonymity to vent. Probably as a result of its age, Melbourne does have a lot of shortcomings, compared to say Perth, in terms of cycleways. I do think this causes issues where there needn't be. Most drivers and folks are pretty accomodating, but inevitably there are issues out there. Sometimes due to people just being in an angry mood, sometimes amplified by the shortcomings in design and infrastructure.

        If you haven't guessed, I'm not a fan of public transport prices here in Melbourne. They hit you very steep (i.e. one short trip and it's $4.10, two and it's $8.20) and I'm sometimes riding in conditions (like rain or when I'm sick) when I'd really rather not be. We have this discussion around energy prices, which for most families would be less than $8.20/day, but we don't have the same emphasis on transport prices.

        Transport in Melbourne isn't broken but it's causing a lot of angst. After writing that comment, I realise I'm really angry about it actually. It would be nice to see the angst directed to improving the situation overall: be it cheaper public transport or better infrastructure. I probably did read your comment as (yet another) grievance against cyclists and that may have not been appropriate, so my apologies.

    •  

      I'm sure it wouldn't be easy to offer a cyclist a cheaper/better alternative. It is probably the cheapest mode of transport, and also saves you from needing to get alternate exercise.

  • +2 votes

    The question always is how fast is he really going.

    If he is as reckless as you claim, best to film it then show it to the cops. They might have someone wait there one day to catch him.

    I cruise at maybe 3-9kph around pedestrians… I still have people freak out like I was going 30kph. Half the time I'm virtually standing still on my bike.

  •  

    If he is as regular as clockwork, shouldn't be too hard to record his behavior. Keep filming it everytime he does this and when he eventually hits someone again, film his face and report him.

    The cops are definitely going to try to pass the buck and tell you they cannot do anything about it (standard response to anything short of murder). Get a written response from cops stating that they have been shown evidence and they have declined to act (which they will refuse) and then post a log of the events including the cops not wanting to act. At this point, you will be contacted by the cops to retract your statement and take down the videos as they will be pursuing the issue.

    Standard stuff really.

  •  

    i'm really getting tired of these kinds of threads….

  •  

    opps wrong thread

  • +1 vote

    Dont bother reporting, the police have more serious things to attend to.

    You can however support a colony of magpies along his current route. You can be assured as soon as the first swooping season comes along, he'll choose a different route.

  •  

    Lobby your local MP so that they build a dedicated cycling path that said cyclist can then refuse to ride on.

    •  

      They would build a shared path, not a cycling path

      •  

        and lobby them to build said share paths (that pedestrians don't actually share) in places where there is already a wide bicycle lane with segregation and not in areas where it's critically necessary (ie. where there is nothing).

  • +2 votes

    You may think that one day he'll come to grief or cause an accident, but sometimes people actually know what they are doing. I lived in Melbourne for a while, and after being shunted across intersections by cars trying to jump the lights (I was on a bike), I soon understood why the courier bike riders ran lights. I did after that. Keep ahead of the traffic and no drama. I did this through the heart of Melbourne for years with no incident. Of course you have to be alert and committed. Bystanders who witness stuff don't know what the cyclist is doing. Clearing a corner and scanning way ahead (most people don't) and aiming for a target. We are capable of great things - white lines and signs are really for people who aren't focussed, the average person who's thinking about what they have to get on the way home, what they're going to cook for dinner, whether the swimming pool will be too busy for doing laps, blah blah blah. I'm just suggesting a possibility. If you go down to a skate park - there's not much going on there that the average person understands. You may think you do, but you don't really know how they're doing stuff. Just getting a bike to jump straight up when you're feet aren't tied to the pedals.

    • +1 vote

      Have to agree with your comment; at times jumping the lights, is better for all, rather than obstructing the lane you can get out in front and stabilise (esp with cleats); crossing on a red pedestrian man (when the lane has a red light also and is obstructed by traffic) are to me the more sensible things to do. I ride with headphones in and have a rear view helmet mirror, whenever I ride close to traffic my mind is on the traffic around me, not my mobile or radio or passanger, kids in the car; as someone who also drives regularly I know I'm less focused behind the wheel.

  •  

    Sounds like one of those situations where one way or another that particular cyclist's antics will come to an end. People who take crazy risks on bycicles aren't exactly 'in it for the long haul' sad to say. We should be encouraging people to use treadlies but that sort of malarkey is just asking for trouble.

  • -2 votes

    If you're jaywalking across the street without checking carefully that you're not going to get hit, I think the fault is you. Perhaps you shouldn't jaywalk.

  • -2 votes

    Just push the prick off his bike and leg it

  •  

    Bicycle riders are only a danger to themselves. There is no metal framework to protect you when riding one of those suicide devices. If they have an accident, they will be the one maimed.

    If you watch the Tour De France, every day you will see cyclists crashing and being injured. Methinks it is much safer to do what all the soccer mums do, travel in an "Urban Assault Vehicle". SUV driver need only worry about trucks.

  • +1 vote

    a busy one-way street (for both pedestrians and cars)

    Is it really enforced that pedestrians can only walk in one direction on that street?

  •  

    I'm a keen cyclist. I would stand in his way forcing him to have to take evasive action and while he is doing it tell him he is giving all cyclists a bad name. I hate seeing other cyclists break rules and tarnish us all with the same brush.

  • Top