Cycling in Sydney Australia
I was riding down wilson st towards newtown from redfern when I saw a taxi stopped in the lane 200m ahead. It didn't move for a long time so I went to pass on the inside. There were no parks available for him to park so his inside seemed the least likely area for the taxi to move into. Right when I was parallel to the taxi it's passenger door opened into me catching me right in the shoulder. copping me a broken frame, broken wheel, and possible fork, painful right shoulder and right knee. Also the taxis door wouldn't close and was eventually forced close by the police. After recovering from shock the nicest person who could have doored me helped me up and made sure I was ok then a messenger stopped and helped us to exchange details.
The police came and after confirming the details said they would only upgrade the accident from minor to serious if a dr confirmed that I needed ongoing medical. They said in the case it was serious and was likely my fault there would be charges and a $300 fine... ie I ran into the door, I was passing on the inside, I didn't have a light on my bike (only 2 lights on my helmet).
I will visit the dr tomorrow, hopefully for some good news on the knee and shoulder, but am spewing about losing my transport bike ( beautiful primate custom built multi purpose cargo, tourer, commuter) Also possibly copping the liability for the accident and shelling out the repairs for a door that ran into me tastes like injustice. Is there any way to avoid liability when you are doored? Is there a chance I can get any compensation for the frame, fork, wheel and injuries? Any body had any experience with a dooring while passing on the inside?
Nothing annoys me more than police who don't know the road rules. If they were a consumer item you could report them to Fair Trading as not being of merchantable quality - not being fit for purpose (enforcing the law when they don't know it). My previous offers to help NSW Police educate their people have been declined.
My summary of the road rules (2001, so the penalties are out of date and the legislation name has changed but otherwise ok) is at http://www.massbug.org.au/twiki/pub/MASSBUG/NSWRoadRules/roadrules.pdf.
NSW Road Rules legislation at http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/subordleg+17...
Rule 269 tells you the passenger is liable for your crash http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/subordleg+17...
Rule 259 tells you that your lights can be attached to the bicycle OR to the rider http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/subordleg+17...
Rule 141 says that bicycles are exempt from the rule about not passing on the left http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/subordleg+17...
The Police Handbook, in the section defining major and minor crashes, includes "If a vehicle [your bike] cannot be driven [includes riding in road rules definitions] away after an MVA, because of mechanical damage or a defect which would make it unroadworthy, it is regarded as a tow away and therefore a major MVA" where MVA = motor vehicle accident.
There has been a breach of the road rules resulting in a crash, the nice passenger is liable for your costs (bike and medical) and the police should follow up. You may need to ask to speak to the station commander (or whatever they are called). Don't give up, they're just work shy and ignorant of the law. But avoid saying that. Be nice, and persistent.
Fiona, do you have a link/page reference to this:
"The Police Handbook, in the section defining major and minor crashes, includes "If a vehicle [your bike] cannot be driven [includes riding in road rules definitions] away after an MVA, because of mechanical damage or a defect which would make it unroadworthy, it is regarded as a tow away and therefore a major MVA" where MVA = motor vehicle accident."
I made this argument to police when a driver hit me earlier in the year and the police disagreed. The person who did the damage has since dissappeared without a trace (moved home, phone disconected, doesn't respond to emails...) after accepting responsibility and saying that she would pay for my bike. The police had no interest in charging her because they didn't consider it a major MVA. It would be good to have some evidence to take to them in order to get them to lay a charge on the driver.
Fortunately I wasn't injured (well, a sprained finger was all the damage I took). I shouldn't have to lie and waste the time of an ambulance that could actually be helping someone just to get the police to take notice, though I do admit that the thought has crossed my mind that if I'm ever in the situation again I will just go down and stay down and demand an ambulance regardless of how hurt I am.
Agree, but nevertheless, it's probably still not a good idea to smoke it up the inside of a stationary taxi.
Passengers tend to bail on that side, and it's not uncommon for them to be intoxicated.