Avon & Somerset Police

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
LeRobot
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Joined: 11 Sep 2013, 4:14pm

Avon & Somerset Police

Postby LeRobot » 11 Sep 2013, 4:48pm

Just a quick note to add my own accident. I was on my regular commute to work on Monday morning at appx 9.15 a.m. I was riding along the A4 London Road into Bath city centre in the bus / cycle lane at no more than 17-18mph. I was dressed in a bright white Specialized cycling jacket and despite the fact it was a sunny morning I had a Maxx Exposure front light on full beam delivering appx 1500 lumens. On my right was a lane of fast moving traffic. Opposite the Kwikfit garage is a row of houses set back from the main road with a small entrance and exit road feeding onto the main A4.

I was appx 10-15ft from the entrance road to the houses (Kensington Meadows) when without warning a driver in the outside lane decided to turn left across the front of me in towards the row of houses. I had nowhere to go other than try to slam on my brakes and try to "ride" the left turn with the car. I hit it with my right shoulder, hip and hand, and then bounced back onto the pavement on my left side.

I consider myself to have been incredibly lucky as I only suffered a broken right finger, lots of cuts, bruising and mild concussion. An ambulance and then the police attended and were great, until the point where the police said they were not going to charge the driver with any offence at all.

I asked the officer what I could possibly have done differently to have avoided being hit, and was told nothing at all, and that I was not at fault. However I was told the driver had said she'd looked and did not see me so turned across and the police concluded that there was no evidence to the contrary. My contention was that the driver must have overtaken me shortly before and that she could not possibly have looked properly as she would have seen a very significant front light behind her. Additionally 15-20ft further back on the pavement are 2 large prominent signs warning drivers of traffic on their inside including image representations of motorbikes, bicycles and taxis.

Ironically my helmet camera had packed up the previous week so it was the 1st time in 3 years that I've ridden to work without it otherwise I would have had incontravertible evidence of the incident.

The police said that it was up to the insurance companies to battle out liability, compensation etc, but it is clear that any negotiation over liability will be compromised by the lack of definitive allocation of blame by the officers at the scene.

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jezer
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Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 5:16pm
Location: North Wiltshire

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby jezer » 11 Sep 2013, 5:51pm

I know the location well. That is a dreadful example of the police not bothering to investigate bad driving properly. Are there any CCTV cameras in the vicinity that can provide evidence?
Power to the pedals

cjchambers
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008, 9:55pm
Location: Maidenhead

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby cjchambers » 11 Sep 2013, 5:53pm

I know the road well, too. Glad to hear you came off without any serious injuries. Have you started with the legal process? If not, there's some good advice here ---> http://www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk/w ... en-a-crash

Complete joke, isn't it? Either she didn't look, or looked but didn't take the appropriate action. Would have thought that either of those are Driving Without Due Care and Attention, but I doubt the CPS would be interested in trying to prosecute. I'm sure she wouldn't have turned if there had been a bus tanking along in the bus lane!

LeRobot wrote:Ironically my helmet camera had packed up . . . . otherwise I would have had incontravertible evidence of the incident.

To be honest, I think the experiences of certain members on here would say otherwise - even with helmetcam footage, the police aren't interested.

snibgo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby snibgo » 11 Sep 2013, 6:02pm

My sympathies. Get well soon.

It seems like a clear case of dangerous driving. If you are a member of CTC, I suggest you follow their legal route. Otherwise, I would formally complain to the police, and I'd expect this to accomplish nothing.

diapason0
Posts: 196
Joined: 11 Aug 2011, 9:14pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby diapason0 » 11 Sep 2013, 6:03pm

Sometimes a letter to your MP can give the Old Bill the necessary prod, as can a letter or two to the local paper and TV stations. Hope you feel better soon.

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Redvee
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Joined: 8 Mar 2010, 8:58pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby Redvee » 11 Sep 2013, 11:44pm

Even though the police, A&S again, weren't interested in prosecuting the driver in my accident I still pressed ahead with a no-win-no-fee solicitor to claim compensation from the driver.

binsted
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Joined: 6 Jun 2012, 1:13pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby binsted » 12 Sep 2013, 7:37am

Redvee wrote:Even though the police, A&S again, weren't interested in prosecuting the driver in my accident I still pressed ahead with a no-win-no-fee solicitor to claim compensation from the driver.


And did they win you any compensation ? just interested as I am not a fan of no-win-no-fee but in this instance it seems the only way forward.

karlt
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Joined: 15 Jul 2011, 2:07pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby karlt » 12 Sep 2013, 9:39am

Prosecutions for offences against the criminal law are quite orthogonal to claims for compensation under the civil law. The police are not interested in whether the driver is liable under the civil law for your accident; they are interested in whether an offence has been committed and they have a reasonable prospect of conviction.

It is not necessary for an offence to have been committed for there to be civil liability. And it's theoretically conceivable for an offence to have been committed but it not give rise to civil liability, although I'm struggling to think of an obvious example - yes, I can - a driver might be using a mobile phone at the point of an accident but the accident involved you running into the back of them. You'd still be liable for the accident, but they'd have committed an offence.

A conviction of the other party can be good evidence in your civil claim for compensation, but it's by no means necessary and in the vast majority of motor claims there is no prosecution involved, but that doesn't prevent successful liability claims being made. You'd need to use a solicitor (or for small claims the small claims court procedure) whether there was a conviction or not; the police prosecuting would not in itself result in you getting compensation under the civil law.

You need the separate the prosecution or otherwise of the driver, and your claim from compensation, in your mind. They are two, somewhat related, but still separate and distinct processes.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Sep 2013, 10:03am

This is the point where Ivor Tingting used to intervene to explain the value of first securing a criminal conviction as an aid to a subsequent successful civil action.

Be that as it may, the police have given up on all but the most serious crashes. Even "KSI" now seems to be interpreted as "killed (or there's such a likelihood that they will die that we might as well start the investigation now.")

If the police didn't want to know in the immediate aftermath, I fancy that nothing much will change that now, although you could lose some sleep finding that out for yourself.

Here's one I prepared earlier:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49627

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Redvee
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Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby Redvee » 12 Sep 2013, 10:42am

binsted wrote:
Redvee wrote:Even though the police, A&S again, weren't interested in prosecuting the driver in my accident I still pressed ahead with a no-win-no-fee solicitor to claim compensation from the driver.


And did they win you any compensation ? just interested as I am not a fan of no-win-no-fee but in this instance it seems the only way forward.


Yes, came away with £1500 for injuries, broken nasal bones, muscle strain, cuts and bruises and £500 for repairs to bike, new frame, front wheel, chainset.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Sep 2013, 12:44pm

Redvee

It's good to hear you got some sort of a positive result. Were you reasonably happy with that outcome? (I'll take it for granted that you would have preferred it to not to have happened at all, no matter what the £££)

My reason for asking is that we hear a lot about the so-called compensation culture but, without knowing anything about the extent of your injuries, amount of time off work etc., that seems like a modest sum and not the telephone numbers that sometimes get bandied about.

iviehoff
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Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby iviehoff » 12 Sep 2013, 4:08pm

LeRobot wrote:However I was told the driver had said she'd looked and did not see me so turned across and the police concluded that there was no evidence to the contrary.

The underlying problem is that excuses along the line of "I was attentive but it was possible to overlook him" have proved to be tricky to win a prosecution against. Especially in a jury trial, since jury members are typically car drivers who know how easy it is to overlook such things, and don't want to think that their own behaviour amounts to illegal driving.

Even where a cyclist has been ridden into the back of, in conditions of perfect visibility in broad daylight, winning the prosecution can be hard work: to win in these cases, the prosecution has had to have independent witnesses and expert evidence that only the negligently inattentive could have failed to see.

In my view, the law ought to be clarified so that the burden of responsibility clearly lies on a driver to see what is there to be seen, unless there is clear fault on behalf of the other party in concealing themselves. Mist, being blinded by the sun, or stung by a wasp, should not be admissible defences: in such conditions you should have a responsibility to take account of the conditions to ensure you do not behave so as to put other road users at risk.

MartinC
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Joined: 10 May 2007, 6:31pm
Location: Bredon

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby MartinC » 12 Sep 2013, 4:21pm

Iviehoff, I agree with you totally but I'm pessimistic about getting the law changed for exactly the reasons is hard to get a jury to convict. As a society we've traded off injuring and killing vulnerable road users to make driving easy and fast. We have a society where the right to drive overrides everything.

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Redvee
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Joined: 8 Mar 2010, 8:58pm

Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby Redvee » 12 Sep 2013, 11:44pm

thirdcrank wrote:Redvee

It's good to hear you got some sort of a positive result. Were you reasonably happy with that outcome? (I'll take it for granted that you would have preferred it to not to have happened at all, no matter what the £££)

My reason for asking is that we hear a lot about the so-called compensation culture but, without knowing anything about the extent of your injuries, amount of time off work etc., that seems like a modest sum and not the telephone numbers that sometimes get bandied about.


Very happy with the outcome. I was back to work in 5 days and didn't lose any wages cause of it, bike was repaired when I was off sick, I only had to but new the chainset as I had a spare front wheel and swapped the bits back onto my old Kona frame that they came off and onto the On-one frame that got trashed in the accident.

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661-Pete
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Re: Avon & Somerset Police

Postby 661-Pete » 13 Sep 2013, 12:19pm

Witnesses.

That's what you need - along with a cyclist-friendly copper, perhaps. I was lucky in both respects in my crash last year, and I got a result accordingly. My 'witness', who was driving behind the offending car, said exactly the right thing to the cops, apparently, something on the lines of "I could see the cyclist perfectly, how come the driver in front of me, didn't?"

So it's a matter of pot luck, I'm afraid. If there's no witness about - tough. If there is a witness, but he/she refuses to come forward (it rarely develops into a court appearance, just a written statement to the Police) - well I know what I'd like to do to them... :twisted:
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