Cycling in Sydney Australia
Today, I took my daughter out in her bike trailer attached to my Brompton. We have had people filming us or taking photos along the way, Newtown especially, (I suppose because its seems 'novel') ?
It never bothered me, because the reactions have all been positive, but today, I became a little unerved when a SUV was driving alongside of us from 'world centre' began filming.
At first I thought it was more of the same attention we were already accustomed to, but it persisted, we were filmed from all angles, just about, all the way to glebe, ( a good 15 minute ride). I was probably doing 20k/h uphill pushing it, (dont forget, Im towing 40+kg!) not thinking, or even capable of pulling to the kerb (along the busy bus lane) while being hurled abuse, "thats ILLEGAL!" ... the girlfriend was then being a jerk within a meter of my bike trailer (while his hand was out the window with his camera, ) attempting to illicit a hostile response, i suppose (it never happened) whilst they held up traffic and were doing the very thing they accused me of: putting my childs life at risk.
My daughter had the ipad in the back and I wish I couldve got her to film them and get thier licence plate number down. Cops said this evening if sharing on social network is thier intent, theres nothing I can do about it.
Im guessing they will try to hand the footage to the RTA or a MP and try to have trailers banned! haha! good luck to them, they can take thier gripes to Target to start: where I bought it-somebody at the australian safety standards mustve approved it, then go to ebay where 20 or so are being sold at any given time.
Or just go home, have a good cry and tell, 'mama'.
What can I do about being filmed? ..I dont want to be published with negative connotations to my cycling, as I obey the road rules.....(lets hope they are stupid enough to upload, and incriminate themselves with dangerous driving in the meantime...)...my dutch cargo bike, Im too afraid to use now...:(
It no use when after the fact you can say, 'if I only did this..or that...filming them back or just stopping, both afterthoughts, I was just too creeped out at the time...
(On the 2/9/2012) Im adding:
the original ACA clip for those who have just joined the discussion:
I have broken no laws, yet ACA have attempted to criminalise me by holding me personally and my parenting to speculation, ridicule and contempt while I am going about my business. If this can happen to me, this can happen to anyone.
Creating hysteria for ratings, yet potentially life threatening, not to mention, damaging to my career working with children.
Not only have they sought to damage my reputation by humiliating me publically, nationwide, they do have charges of negligent driving, harassment/stalking, filming a minor without consent to answer to, and I intend to follow this up with the full extent of the law.
Thankyou everyone so far who have taken the time to read this, and especially those who have contributed to this discussion. The support I have received is overwhelming!
A good advocate or pro-bono lawyer is now needed before I make make a formal police statement. (Not remembering the licence plate number, was the only thing preventing me, when I reported it on the day.) Since this has generated so much attention both here and internationally, its only a matter of time, I believe, someone will take on ACA.
Keep up the support! I am seeking a 'win' for cyclists everywhere,- increased protections for vulnerable road users, and hopefully some more lanes put in!
Laws to be changed regarding media conduct seem long overdue. We saw what happened to princess Di 'for a good story'-and riding in a bike trailer, she wasnt!
I'll leave you with an article by Alan Davies at Crikey: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/theurbanist/2012/09/01/is-aca-playing-th... -couldnt have said so better myself!
Keep safe, people! Will keep you abreast of developments.
I'm sorry to hear of your encounter with these awful people. Odds on, they were just very angry people that felt like they had a winning gripe. If they showed that footage to any authority, an adult will probably tell them how dangerous and immature their behavior was. Sadly its looking like bike cameras should become a standard bit of kit. Dont let the bast#%ds get you down.
we will have the ipad ready if there ever is a 'next time'. Lets hope not :(
So sorry to hear about this. I too use a trailer to transport my Kids around in. I did a lot or research before buying one and worked out that trailers are safer than child seats so don't worry, you're definitely not in the wrong.
People like this will always find someone to bully and harass. Had you been in a small car, they would have run you off the road. Had you been in a B-Double truck, they'd have blamed you for ruining the roads and pushed in then slammed on the brakes to try and make it as if you had been tailgating them then wrote off their car.
If you did get the vehicles number plate then you should force the police to subpoena that video footage. That is all the evidence you need for a conviction.
If the police are being lazy, (and you have the rego) go to your local court to fill out and AVO. Once you have begun proceedings, then you can subpoena the footage and the occupants of the vehicle. Start with http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/ you should be able to get 20 minutes of free legal advice from them. You don't even need the footage for an AVO to be granted, you just need to have clearly stated that you wish them the immediately cease and desist in their behaviour. If they don't then the AVO can be granted.
IN either case if they don't hand over their footage, then it is obstruction of justice.
I can definitely understand the nerves. Also a close friend of me and my wife works in a similar industry where every little bit of personal life can have a negative impact on their career. I think that would be very stressful, and is an unfair burden placed by society.
As for trailer:
I usually ride it on the foot paths. You are legally allowed to ride on foot paths if you are supervising a child under 12. I would say having the child in a trailer pretty obviously covers that. In fact, even without the trailer, there are plenty of places where I ride on the foot path, I've even asked police officers to move the side to let me pass! Good old Blacktown police, they seem to have their head screwed on right. It is better for me to be the only one on a footpath next to a busy road, then for me to be clogging up the busy road going so slow (or for them to be scraping me off it.)
I too find I get a lot of attention with the trailer. I went for a ride along PVC near meadowbank a few weeks ago, one comment I loved from a small child to her parent:
"They still have those! Can we get one?"
I too have been looking at those cargo bikes, but $6000 for a good one with electric! I got my current bike free secondhand, so that is a bit of a jump for me.
The law (vic) states you can only ride on the footpath if you're accompanying an under 12yo who is riding their own bicycle. Doesn't allow for under 12s on tag-alongs or in trailers.
There are some interesting laws around the publication of images of a minor.
...images of children that would enable them to be identified (for example, in a school uniform, outside their house, with their name) should not be published on the Internet without the consent of their parent.
They aren't many people who would have a folder bike with a kids trailer, so that would make you identifiable. Found it on the Federal Govt. Child Family Community Australia site - Images of children and young people online.
As for you, there's not a lot you can do. Its a public space. Of course if the intent or the recording (images, video, etc) is to defame, bully, or for commercial reasons, you have an avenue of complaint. Also, privacy laws may also kick in - if you can be easily identified and that this puts you at risk. Or some such.
Secretly hope they do publish the footage.
If they show themselves yelling abuse at you, and driving close to you, and/or driving whilst straddling lane lines and/or tailgating then they risk documenting their own driving offences or even documenting their own predatory driving charge.
Don't let them get to you or stop you from doing as you see fit. I've got a tandem tagalong for my 2 girls that they pedal & have their own 7 gears. Most people are pretty good but occassionally some small minded people that don't know the road rules make comments. If you get particularly worried perhaps pull over in very public place where they can't stop so they have to go ahead. Remember that you can legally ride on footpaths to get away from such people.
I often use a helmet cam as people tend to avoid doing anything like that in front of a camera they don't control.
Hmmm, looks like the filming culprit has been identified, one of the terrible twosome of 6:30 entertainment and misinformation.
Wonder how attached ACA is to the film source ?
ie would they be interested in doing a story about roadragers who verbally abuse mums on bicycles, straddle lanes illegally, block other traffic from getting past, and follow a mum on a bicycle about for 15 minutes or more at once, and then take the footage and give it to ACA ?
ACA is covered by OH&S legislation, including in their dealings with the public while at work.