Inconsistent responses from Victoria Police
Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at 4:07 pm
I’m annoyed with the Victorian Police at the moment.
Hold on… let me back up a bit…
This woman is a danger to other road users and should not be allowed to drive a vehicle:
Whoops… not far back enough…
On Thursday I was riding to work as usual and had turned into Ivanhoe Street from Waverley Road, my next turn is a right into Leicester Ave. As I was nearing the right turn I heard the car behind me – I had seen it in my mirror – come over the speedhump quite hard (ie quite fast) so I moved a bit more to the right (to be just to the left of the centre of the road) and indicated right in accordance with this road rule:
31. Starting a right turn from a road (except a multi-lane road) (3) If the road does not have a dividing line or median strip and is not a one-way road, the driver must approach and enter the intersection from the left of, parallel to, and as near as practicable to, the centre of the road.
So there I was: riding to the left of the centre of the road and indicating right. So what did the car do?
Did it wait in accordance with this rule…
142. No overtaking to the right of a vehicle turning right etc. (1) A driver must not overtake to the right of a vehicle if the vehicle is turning right, or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, and is giving a right change of direction signal.
…or choose the moment I was about to turn right to overtake.
Obviously I wouldn’t have been talking about it if they had followed the rule. If I had started the turn a few seconds earlier I would be writing about being run over, a very different post.
When I realised that the car was coming around on my right, I was able to swerve back to the left and watched it fly past and narrowly miss a car parked on the other side of the road just ahead of the next speedbump.
As I had now missed my usual turn, I continued on with the intention of taking the next right. Until I realised that in my experience the most dangerous driver on a side street at that time of the day is the parent making a drop off. On this hunch I took the second right, Chivers Ave instead of Sandgate Ave, where I knew there was a childcare centre.
My hunch proved correct and there the car was, unloading children. So I stopped, leant my bike against a tree on the nature strip, and from the footpath asked her if she saw me indicating that I was turning right. Her response: “you shouldn’t be on the road”
I said asked her if she knew the road rules and that she endangered my life. Her response: “you were indicating for too long”
I was stunned. How can you be indicating for too long? What if I had been turning into a driveway instead of the next road? At this point I retrieved my camera from the top of my bag and took the above photo. She asked my what I was doing and I told her that I wanted a clear record of her and her car in case I wanted to take it further. Now her response was: “you will be the one in trouble if you take it to the police”.
Huh? I hadn’t mentioned the police.
We exchanged a few more words – she didn’t object when I asked if she was comfortable with endangering the lives of others – before she turned away and walked into the childcare centre. I put my camera away and continued riding to work.
After thinking about it during the day I decided – it was the “you will be the one in trouble” comment – that I would indeed go to the police. When I stopped at the police station on my way home it was quite busy and I had to wait for a while. When I did speak to the officer on the desk they listened to what happened and said that no charges could be filed – no damage or injury – but they would be able to contact the driver and remind them of the road rules. However as it was busy they asked me to come back on the following day.
This is where the inconsistency and my annoyance comes in.
When I returned to the police station on Friday afternoon there was a different officer at the desk and this one said that there was nothing they could do, they weren’t prepared to contact the driver like the officer I spoke to the day before had said they would do.
Was the first officer genuine and there were just busy, or were they fobbing me off becuase he didn’t want to do anything? If the first officer was genuine, why did the second officer have a different response?
To the woman: You were wrong, I did not get into trouble by taking it to the police. But fortunately for you, they didn’t do anything about it. So here it is for all to read, my record of the incident.