Car Park Incident Witness Now Needs Help

Had a customer come in late today to pick up their vehicle from some work and they threw out an interesting situation they have found themselves in. They know I am a great reader of traffic road rules and an avid weekend armchair lawyer, but this had my mind blown, I didn't know where to start and told them I had just the professional forum to post it to to get the answer they needed…

The story (as I understand it):

A few weeks ago, my customer (let's call them "Frank") pulled into a car park (small park, 40 odd spaces, 20 down each side with roadway in the middle). A car was about half way out of the space and both they and Frank stopped. Frank thought the right thing to do was to wave the lady (let's call her "Karen") out from her space and give her room to get out and then park in that spot.

At this point, Karen started to reverse out of her parking space, another car from the opposite side also started backing out. Karen was all the way out if her parking space when her and the other car, about 4/5th of the way out, connected.

Frank got out, checked everyone was ok. A discussion between the two collision vehicles on who was at fault ensued, blaming each other. Frank stepped in and said he saw it and that Karen was backing out first. The other driver then claimed they had no insurance (surprised they didn't beat me here). The other driver finally gave up their details and swapped them with Karen. Frank offered their phone number to Karen as a witness and they all went on their way…

Fast forward to yesterday and Frank tells me he received a call and an SMS demanding his insurance details from Karen. She is citing that Frank is at fault based on him giving her "traffic direction signals" that caused the accident and that Frank is not qualified to give directions to traffic. (I did see the SMS Frank had on his phone demanding insurance details.)

Frank believes that Karen is clutching at straws based on the other driver saying they had no insurance and she just wants someone else to pay, but he is concerned that if he just ignores it, it will get out of hand and end in some form of legal action.

I told Frank to laugh it off and call her bluff and offer her nothing, give her nothing.

What do we all think. Is Frank F'ed in the A, or is Karen being a "Karen"?

NB: MS Paint diagram will get posted later when I get time to draw it…

Edit: MS Paint Diagram (As required by site rules and current Road Rules legislation…) Find it here somewhere (drawn to the best of my knowledge of the car park in question. All cars depicted are correct at time of printing…)

Edit 2, The Update!: Well, you will all be pleased to know that "Frank" got back in contact with me today (Well, I called him to check up). Turns out, he called his insurance company just to be sure. According to Frank, his insurance company initially thought it was a prank call. After some more explaining, they laughed and said that "Karen" had no chance of making that stick and that if she was going to continue to pursue it, they would gladly assist Frank.

Frank went back to Karen and told her that in no way was he giving her any further details and that his offer to be a witness was henceforth rescinded (And I 100% doubt that Frank said it like that, it would have had a few more choice words in there, cow cocky farmer and all.)

I did pass on a link to this thread to Frank and he said to say thanks to all for all the help and kind words. He said he will just chalk it up to a life experience and move on. Not much water sticks to Frank's back.

Poll Options

  • 8
    Frank's fault. Pay up.
  • 5
    Partial Frank's fault. Pay some.
  • 716
    Not Frank's fault. Pay none.
  • 44
    New phone, who 'dis??


  • +90

    Wow what a b!tch. Frank is completely not at fault. It's her word against his. He could say I was just sitting in my car and waiting for a mate car park spot.

    End of story.

    Hope the Karen gets a lot of bad karma

    • +4

      and, oh, I was waving at a friend.

      • +3

        I was dancing to the music in the car.

        • +1

          … Flicking a booger off his hand (forgot to elbow sneeze)

  • +18

    Yet another Karen living up to the qualities of a Karen.

  • +4

    Karen can go jump

  • +14


    EDIT: Frank's insurance would tell her to F off too.

  • +13

    Lol. Frank thought he was going to get some sugar, but got chilli instead.

    Tell Frank to MYOB next time.

    • +1

      Wonder if this happened in Cockburn, coz he sure felt it…

  • +41

    She has his phone number, if her insurance believe him at fault, they can call him for his insurance details (which they won't do because they know he's not at fault).

    Most likely her insurance company have stated they were both reversing so they are both considered at fault. So instead of her paying the excess and the one with no insurance paying for their own damages, she wants to put pressure on the witness to pay and hope he doesn't understand.

    Even if he gave the safe signal, it is still her responsibility to reverse safely.

    • +3

      I agree with this one, tell the Karen you would rather not deal with her directly but will happily speak with her insurer. Her insurance won't do anything until she pre-pays her excess, this is likely what she wants to avoid.

    • Correct, it's like the old trick people do when you're at a set of lights and the troll behind you honks their horn twice quickly, causing some people to drive forward.

      It's the driver's responsibility to check before blindly driving forward. Same thing here; Driver's responsibility.

      • What kind of maniac tries to ‘troll’ someone into running a red light!?!

  • +15

    Where in the road rules does it say to follow some random person’s hand gestures? Perhaps Frank wasn’t qualified to direct traffic, perhaps she wasn’t qualified to understand his hand signals.

    • +5

      Besides that, he isn't even "directing traffic". He's letting them know he's intending to go into their spot/not moving.

      I'd wager Karen got told she was partly at fault by her insurance and she's trying to find whatever way she can to get out of paying anything.

  • +9

    At the end of the day, she was driving/in control of a motor vehicle! Not Frank's fault

  • +23

    Karen is still obligated to drive with care.

    For example, it may be a green light but you wouldn't drive over a granny still crossing.

    • +3

      Reminds me of the ads on videos from blockbuster. You wouldn’t steal a car.

      • +14

        I thought it was, "You wouldn't download a car", and I 100% would.

        • +1

          Who wouldn't? Noone loses a car.

        • In the age of 3d printing its amusing how badly that anti-piracy warning has aged.

    • +2

      Or would you…?

      • +2

        only if they're stopping me from the weekly specials ;)

        • +1

          Lol relevant username

    • +2

      For example, it may be a green light but you wouldn't drive over a granny still crossing.

      The guy behind me honked, so I drove through the intersection as per his instruction. It's his fault I ran over Granny!
      - Karen, probably

  • +6

    So if Frank told her to jump off a building and she did, would she blame all the damages as Frank's fault? I mean, he told her to do it!

    Anyways, I know it's a bit too late, but next time Frank can send the Karen a first message saying "Hey this is Frank, I saw the accident and can be a witness".

    Now that she only has the number, she can (wants to?) claim that Frank did it. Also, I am surprised people don't take a hundred photos of whatever accident that happens near them - if Frank had atleast a single photo of the whole thing, he could prove it wasn't him.
    Or play dumb and tell her to drag him to court, only to reveal the photos later and claim reputation, psychological, time-off-work and other damages and get the big bucks!

    Jokes aside, Karen is really out to just get the money, Frank should just ignore the message completely and block the number for peace of mind.

  • +15

    She’s mistaken, Frank wasn’t giving any directions, he was scratching his head or something…

    • +5

      Waving away a pesky Louie.

    • +1

      or Frank wasnt even there… Karen just picked up his number randomly….
      there was nothing to link Frank and Karen to the incident…

    • probably changing music track with his in-air gesture control.

  • +1

    Fast forward to yesterday and Frank tells me he received a call and an SMS demanding his insurance details from Karen. She is citing that Frank is at fault based on him giving her "traffic direction signals" that caused the accident and that Frank is not qualified to give directions to traffic.


    quite amusing, if Karen had said "i need your details to tell my insurer", probably would have got them. but decided to jump the gun

  • +16

    All the way down here, and there's no "to be frank" puns…

    And I'm too exhausted to make one

  • +69

    Your story doesn't mentioned that Frank hast stated what he witnessed to the Insurance company yet.

    Maybe Frank's memory is a lot clearer now and he is ready to make a statement….
    Maybe Frank recalls it was Karen that reversed out of the carpark spot at an inappropriate speed without looking…
    Maybe Frank also recalls all parties agreed that Karen was at fault at the time of the accident…..

    • +1

      Bingo… we have a winner.

    • +1

      Maybe Frank was swatting a fly?

    • +14

      That's what I told him to say… "Well, now that I recall… It was you who backed into the other car…" :D

    • This 100%

    • +8

      Holy hell. She's a madman! She reversed at full speed after she gave the guy the finger and reversed straight into him! She was screaming, "I'm going to kill you, when she ran into him"

      How is she not in jail?

    • I like this. Seems well deserved

  • +1

    MS Paint diagram will get posted later when I get time to draw it…

    Do you need help?

    • +8
      • +10

        Just as well she didn't hit that formula 1 car

      • +1

        "?'s" car looks too expensive to not be insured.

      • +8

        Love the attention to detail. My only criticism - you could have put a kayak on top of the RAV4

        • +10

          I did make sure to add a Camry and some “High Yield Investment” vehicles…

      • +2

        Forget the MS paint we got a dash cam footage.

  • +6

    Ok let's run with her excuse. How did she know to follow Franky's signals?

    No due dilligence from her part to determine whether Frank was qualified to give hand signals.

    Karen wants to have her cake and eat it too.

    BTW, clearly Frank was putting on his Rayban's and stroking his 80's porno mustache.

    Source: Trust me, bro.

  • +34

    Plot twist, Frank was actually signalling both drivers and wanted them to crash. Oh Frank, how delightfully devious. Good on ya mate

  • +6

    Frank should just his witness statement to state that Karen was totally at fault and drunk (on entitlement).

    • +14

      “And, your honour, I would like to add that Karen smelt predominantly of cheap cask white wine at 11:30am on a Tuesday morning…”

      • +4

        "She was also holding her phone with her left hand."

  • To the best of my knowledge, in a carpark on private land, it's free for all. Frank can give Karen a big black one and tell her to go and love herself.

  • +14

    Interesting variation….

    • Someone I know
    • My mate
    • My second cousin
    • Friend at work
    • My wife/husband
    • My customer Frank
    • +3

      OzBargain needs an anonymous posting option badly!!!

    • +19

      I’m happy for you to think it was me. A women like this pulling this shit on me would get laughed at, but “Frank” is a much older gentleman and not the sharpest knife in the draw. He is too polite for his own good and without telling someone, would probably have just paid for the damages.

      I just thought it was too funny not to share how some arseholes in society will try anything on.

      On a side note, if anyone else here feels too embarrassed to post your traffic incident, send me a private message, I’m happy to post it on your behalf so you can stay anonymous.

      • +4

        Thanks for the offer. Can you post mine anonymously?

        I had an accident last week. The driver of the Ferrari said that I'm at fault. I tried to call the insurance company but they won't talk to me because I don't have a policy with them. I tried calling another insurance company and they said the same thing. What are my options?

        • Wait until you get the demand letter

  • What's it got to do with Frank? If you're reversing in a car, you should be watching out your rear window!

  • +4

    I see you are in NSW. The rule whilst driving in NSW is: Do not trust anybody, do not assume you know what someone will do, everyone is your enemy.

  • Ey Franky I bet it's not the first time your fingers got you in trouble you dirty horn dog, easy up cobber I'm only pulling ya leg.

  • +3

    Any person can direct traffic at an EMERGENCY. This was not an emergency.

    If I was Frank, I would leave it and wait for K's insurance company to contact him.

    Insurance company will not contact him because they do not have a case. Frank was not involved in the accident.

    They can however, true to pursue this as a civil matter. Will cost big $ so it will not happen.

    Do not respond to K.

    This incident is between the other party and K.

    Case closed :-)

  • Another excuse was that Frank was doing the "renegade" ha ha ha…

    • +3

      I think that gave me cancer…

  • Driver has responsibility unless the person waving was a traffic controller giving orders and on duty.

  • -1

    Accident did not happen on a road related area.. whether Frankie was an authorised traffic controller does not come into question.

    • +9

      A car park like this most certainly is a road related area… but putting your hand out the window to indicate to someone it’s ok to back out because you want their parking space is hardly being a “traffic controller”

  • +3

    Just waiting for Hellopam to make a post from the view point of “Karen”.

    • +20

      Plot twist… Pam was the other driver, didn't want to take her eyes off the keys in the ignition for fear of losing them..

  • +4

    What a crock. Yeah, she is reaching as the other person doesn't have insurance. It is a well known fact that when two cars hesitate to decide who goes first, the considerate wave is merely an agreement between the two immediate parties, and holds no authority over any potential 3rd party, especially if the other person is reversing.

    • That’s what I told him. She is just trying the path of least resistance and going after who she thinks might pay up or who may have insurance. I just want to know how she came to the conclusion that it was down to someone being the unauthorised traffic controller??

      • +4

        For what it's worth, several decades ago when i was learning to drive I made a hand signal to another driver. My driving instructor made it very clear to me that I had no legal authorisation to direct traffic. I presume he knew what he was talking about as he'd been in the game for a long time. I now avoid making such signals lest it end up with shenanigans like this.

        If this case went to court and everyone told the truth, I think it's possible that a magistrate might apportion part of the fault to Frank. I think it's unlikely this case will end up in court, but I would advise him to avoid further contact lest it encourages Karen to take him to court.

        • Thank you for answer my question. I was interesting in to see wherether Karen has any legal ground to her claim ..

      • That’s what I told him. She is just trying the path of least resistance….

        Time to teach the old-fella about the one-fingered hand signal…

  • +1

    What a classic Karen.

    I wouldn't recommend making a false statement that Karen was at fault. But I'd definitely not block her either, and wait to hear that she now wants me to make a statement that she was not at fault, ask "why would I bother doing that" and then hold the phone 30cm from my ear and enjoy the beautiful music of a full blown Karen episode.

    • +1

      Yeah, that’s what I told him to do, just withdraw his support as a witness. It will make her case a lot harder now that she doesn’t have someone to corroborate her version of events. But yes, as tempting as it is to want to sink her with a misleading statement, it’s not worth it.

      • +1

        I'm not sure how it will make her case a lot harder. She's only pursuing Frank because the insurance company have said both drivers are at fault. Her only case now is whether to pay for the repair herself or continue with the claim and pay the excess.

        • +1

          That's possible, her insurance said "you and the other idiot are equally at fault… no soup for you" and she is just bunging it on in the hope that Frank will just cough up some money.

          It would only make her case harder if she was trying to pursue the other driver for damages and was relying on Frank being her witness that she was not at fault.

  • +10

    Assuming you are based in NSW? Karen is committing insurance fraud. Ring the police on Franks behalf and confirm that she is indeed making a misleading statement to her insurance company. Then notify Karen’s insurance company that police have been advised of their clients actions . Search insurance fraud
    Here is relevant link to NSW legislation
    Please advise us of outcome

  • Did Frank forget to tell anyone he has a dash cam?

    • +7

      He doesn't have one. I have tried to get him to install one, even offered to fit it in my own time, but he "got on alright before dash cams were invented…"

      • +1

        Sad isn't it, Guess he also "must" drive a manual because he learnt to drive with a clutch?

        • +8

          Look, to be honest, I was surprised when he showed me the SMS he got from this woman. I didn't even think that he knew his phone had that function (send and receive SMS), let alone how to access it :D

          • @pegaxs: Hope you update on how Frank goes with all this. I assume he'd never hear from them again once he's told her where to go, but you never know.

  • +5
    • hahaha, yes, from the sounds of it, basically that. :D

    • I watched that video just this morning and thought it looked familiar. hahahah

    • +2

      Couldn't stop laughing at SIRI at 2:50

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