Tag Archives: traffic infractions

Other Cyclists III

I always thought that if I’m knocked off my bike, it was going to be a car. But it was another cyclist.
The Awful Effects of Velocipeding
I was crossing Bathurst at Adelaide on a green light when another cyclist tore through red and slammed into my bike as I crossed the street, fracturing my ribs, injuring my face, destroying my front wheel, breaking my glasses. I was too injured and shocked to get his name and number, and by the time I realized what had happened, he was gone. The crossing guard saw everything. I had witnesses; I had a victim, but no perpetrator. I phoned up repair shops to see if anyone had brought in a damaged bike fitting the description of the bike that had hit me. No luck. Then one of the bike shops suggested I call the police. Maybe they have cameras where I was hit.
The two officers who came to my house were very kind, very sympathetic. They explained to me that, even if I succeeded in locating the person who had injured me, there was nothing they could do. I could, of course, take him to small claims court. If I found him, would they lay charges? No, they told me, this is not considered a traffic accident, so it’s not a matter for the police. So aren’t bicycles traffic? No, apparently not. The reasons turned out to be quite convoluted; they had something to do with bicycles not having license plates. But I have witnesses who are prepared to testify that he rode through a red light when he hit me. That doesn’t matter. Police, it turns out, will only lay charges if they see this happen with their own eyes.