Witness or victim?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 10:00am

Hi all,

I recently reported this vehicle for a dangerous close pass:

Video: https://youtu.be/JZYzK1gZRlM

The Surrey TPU investigated and offered the driver a driver awareness course in lieu of 3 points/prosecution etc.

I contacted the police asking them for the name of the driver and his insurance details and they responded back saying that I was a witness to an incident of bad driving not a victim and so was not entitled to the information.

I was always under the impression that I was the victim and a potential witness, and the video evidence provided another witness?

Anyway, I wanted the insurance details so that I could make a small claim from the insurers to cover the cost of my wife having to drive me to/from work for a few days as the incident above had really shaken me up by the time I got home and so I haven't ridden the bike since.

--Jatinder
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Jdsk
Posts: 2224
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Aug 2020, 10:04am

There's a recent multipage thread about a similar issue. It didn't resolve the problem.

Do you have legal advice available through a Union, or insurance policy or Which? etc?

It would be great to see a definitive answer.

Jonathan

jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 10:23am

Nope - no insurance which would help in this case.

My contents insurance does have legal cover but specifically excludes anything related to motor vehicles.

I'll see if I can find that thread you mentioned...

--Jatinder

Jdsk
Posts: 2224
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Aug 2020, 10:27am


peetee
Posts: 2324
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby peetee » 5 Aug 2020, 10:34am

That is very common behaviour which many of us have been on the receiving end of many times over. It is refreshing to know that the offender has been called to account.
You can find out online which company insured that car. Contact them and state he has commuted a traffic offence for which he has been issued a penalty. He may not have declared this. Either way you will be able to inform his insurer you will be perusing a claim pertinent to that offence.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

Pebble
Posts: 198
Joined: 7 Jun 2020, 11:59pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Pebble » 5 Aug 2020, 10:40am

jatindersangha wrote:Hi all,

I recently reported this vehicle for a dangerous close pass:

Video: https://youtu.be/JZYzK1gZRlM

The Surrey TPU investigated and offered the driver a driver awareness course in lieu of 3 points/prosecution etc.

I contacted the police asking them for the name of the driver and his insurance details and they responded back saying that I was a witness to an incident of bad driving not a victim and so was not entitled to the information.

I was always under the impression that I was the victim and a potential witness, and the video evidence provided another witness?

Anyway, I wanted the insurance details so that I could make a small claim from the insurers to cover the cost of my wife having to drive me to/from work for a few days as the incident above had really shaken me up by the time I got home and so I haven't ridden the bike since.

--Jatinder

Yes I think you should be able to make a claim against the driver and as such you should be able to find out who they are.

If someone parks on your land you can get the drivers details from DVLA so as you can pursue them, (parking enforcement companies do it all the time) So I see no reason why in the case you highlight that you could not request the same.

Best of luck, we desperately need to discourage this type of ignorant driving.

Pebble
Posts: 198
Joined: 7 Jun 2020, 11:59pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Pebble » 5 Aug 2020, 10:45am

peetee wrote:That is very common behaviour which many of us have been on the receiving end of many times over. It is refreshing to know that the offender has been called to account.
You can find out online which company insured that car. Contact them and state he has commuted a traffic offence for which he has been issued a penalty. He may not have declared this. Either way you will be able to inform his insurer you will be perusing a claim pertinent to that offence.

could you point me in this direction. I know you can find out if a car is insured through MIB, but did not know you could find out which insurance company.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7004
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Aug 2020, 11:08am

How are you feeling about the incident now? Are you back cycling those same roads? I hope you are and there's no long term effects.

I do have a devil's advocate comment though. How much is your time costing to pursue a claim compared to what you'll get? I like the idea of informing his insurer of the incident and offence but to actually go through the hassle and likely expense of a claim it seems not worth doing. Perhaps better for your mindset to have a clear break from this incident?

Please do not take offence by this but you've had a great deal of success with the driver being prosecuted which most cyclists never get. Be very proud that you've achieved that but think whether taking it further might sour that win with a load loss on the claim. That might happen but you could leave it on a win now.

I wish you success in whatever you choose to do. If it's a claim I hope you get it too. You'll have many close passed cyclists behind you and cheering you if you win your claim.

jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 11:35am

I'm hesitant to ride the bike to work so I'm driving. I haven't had time recently to do leisure rides which is something I'd like to pick up again. Maybe I'm just being lazy ;-)

In terms of cost of claim - I wasn't thinking of doing anything more than a letter or two to the insurer, mainly to notify them of the driving awareness course.

I'm actually currently pursuing a claim via Leigh Day against a motorist who knocked me over whilst I was walking on the pavement - I'll have a chat with them to see if they see any merit in what I'm doing here.

The police have refused to give me the details of the driver under data protection rules - and say that if I was shaken so much by the incident then I should have reported it online as a "crime" rather than an "allegation of bad driving".

--Jatinder

Pebble
Posts: 198
Joined: 7 Jun 2020, 11:59pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Pebble » 5 Aug 2020, 12:10pm

jatindersangha wrote:I'm hesitant to ride the bike to work so I'm driving. I haven't had time recently to do leisure rides which is something I'd like to pick up again. Maybe I'm just being lazy ;-)

In terms of cost of claim - I wasn't thinking of doing anything more than a letter or two to the insurer, mainly to notify them of the driving awareness course.

I'm actually currently pursuing a claim via Leigh Day against a motorist who knocked me over whilst I was walking on the pavement - I'll have a chat with them to see if they see any merit in what I'm doing here.

The police have refused to give me the details of the driver under data protection rules - and say that if I was shaken so much by the incident then I should have reported it online as a "crime" rather than an "allegation of bad driving".

--Jatinder

I don't believe there is any time limit for when you report a crime - report it as a crime now.
the 14day thing may be relevant to reporting bad driving, but as far as I am aware no such rules exist for other crimes.

peetee
Posts: 2324
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby peetee » 5 Aug 2020, 12:28pm

Pebble wrote:
peetee wrote:That is very common behaviour which many of us have been on the receiving end of many times over. It is refreshing to know that the offender has been called to account.
You can find out online which company insured that car. Contact them and state he has commuted a traffic offence for which he has been issued a penalty. He may not have declared this. Either way you will be able to inform his insurer you will be perusing a claim pertinent to that offence.

could you point me in this direction. I know you can find out if a car is insured through MIB, but did not know you could find out which insurance company.


I did find reference to this before on the MIB site but just tried again and can’t find it, sorry
Last edited by peetee on 5 Aug 2020, 12:37pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

thirdcrank
Posts: 29424
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby thirdcrank » 5 Aug 2020, 12:33pm

I think that the division between a victim and a witness is a false one: unless they are killed, the victim of anything must be a witness in that they can give admissible evidence in resulting proceedings.

I think that the reality is that the police have a policy of only releasing details like this to facilitate civil proceedings. Part of the rationale is that they don't want to be facilitating vengeance. This means that "victim" is being used as a sort of shorthand for "person with a legitimate interest in proceedings." I'd go so far as to say that if the police thought something was purely a civil matter, furnishing the aggrieved person with the details of the other party would be part of finalising the matter.

Remember you are dealing with administrative people, "accident clerks" in my day, with administrative procedures to follow.

I'd try writing formally to the police explaining that you intend to start proceedings and require the information. I don't know if that will get you the info, but it should get a written response, including a reason if there's a refusal.

If you continue to be dissatisfied, the Victims' Commissioner may be a useful contact, but that's only apunt on my part.

slowster
Posts: 1591
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby slowster » 5 Aug 2020, 2:33pm

I think you will be wasting your time with such a course of action. What you are proposing to claim for is liability for the 'nervous shock' caused by the close pass. Because there is no physical injury involved, nervous shock claims have some quite high criteria to be fulfilled before a court would accept such a claim.

There is a lot of case law and precedent for nervous shock claims, but in essence a close pass of someone on a bike would not be anywhere near meeting the criteria as far as I recall. The level of trauma has to be serious, not simply being a bit shook up and not wanting to ride your bike, and the incident that caused it would need to be a lot lot worse than a close pass. For example, if you worked in a factory and witnessed a colleague being horrifically killed in an industrial accident, and were diagnosed subsequently with PTSD, you would probably succeed in a claim for nervous shock.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7004
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Aug 2020, 2:41pm

It's possible you're right. About the OP contributing to the frequency of incidents.

I've never had more than two incidents with drivers. One was a young lad in a small van being a to$$er and "having a laugh" by using his horn to make me jump. The other was more serious because it resulted in me having to cycle at a sprint while trapped between two sets of trailer wheels until I could crash out info a hedge where there was a dropped kerb.

I do find through other activities I do in the outdoors that some people are more prone to issues doing their sport or outdoor activity. Part of it is down to awareness in one form or another. There's times when primary position is warranted on UK roads for cyclists but there's times when cycling in secondary is more appropriate. Judgment on that is personal but being personal it can result in a poor decision at times.

My view of primary position is that it's a safety tool best kept for when really needed. Junctions, constrictions, etc? If you're riding in primary on a straight road then IMHO you are diluting the value of that position and potentially causing yourself, as the more vulnerable road user, issues. There's loads of to$$ers behind steering wheels and you become a target if you're out towards primary when there's no obvious reason for it.

Not saying the OP is such a cyclist as I've not watched any of his videos TBH but I'm just picking up on what PDQ posted. I just have a sneaking suspicion that we're our own worst enemy at times in that we are capable of creating our own problems. I'm sure we all know cyclists forever having accidents of one kind or another. Or who always report problem drivers on the same roads that you don't have much to complain about. I know one guy, a mountain biker from the earliest times having lived in the USA when it took off, who had a season ticket to the local A&E!! He often remembers one minute cycle cycling, the next waking up in hospital with lights flashing past as he's wheeled down the corridor. I still remember on a walk with him and he pointed out the dry stone wall he lost his front teeth to!!!

If I had gone through a run of a few accidents or incidents with motorists then at some point I'd consider what I could change to stop the run. Whether that's a cycle training course, changing my route, changing my travel time, changing my riding style, etc. I can't change motorists but I can make myself better as a cyclist and road user. I am not criticizing the OP just making the point that we can all become better cyclists.

jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 3:18pm

Tangled Metal wrote:If I had gone through a run of a few accidents or incidents with motorists then at some point I'd consider what I could change to stop the run. Whether that's a cycle training course, changing my route, changing my travel time, changing my riding style, etc. I can't change motorists but I can make myself better as a cyclist and road user. I am not criticizing the OP just making the point that we can all become better cyclists.


Yes, I agree and have done the same...I did the Bikeability level 3 course, and when I was commuting to Woking train station I restricted my route to the quieter back roads...all of which were narrow, windy, 40/50/60mph limits. Most days, I'd only be passed by a handful of motorists - but that in itself wasn't enough to remove the close-passes etc.

--Jatinder