Minimum Passing Distance Laws – Getting Police to Act on Video Evidence

Hi All,

The introduction of Minimum Safe Passing Distance Laws in March 2016 was supposed to improve cyclists safety.

My feeling is that it has led to drivers giving us more room overall, but there is still a sociopathic and dangerous section of the driver population that needs a stronger response than just education.

However, simply rocking up with a close pass video to the cop shop will almost always see you get the brush-off. The reason is the "beyond reasonable doubt" test that applies to criminal matters, and the fact police always have more to do than they can fit in their available time.

How do you get around that? You don't. You work with it, and you work the system. Here is how. 

Yes, it is a lot of work, but how much is the life of your fellow cyclist worth? Follow these steps *exactly* and your chance of getting a result and modifying the behaviour of these sociopaths rises dramatically. My success rate so far is three from four.

Part 1: Determining if you have enough evidence to get a prosecution up

Part 2: Making the evidence visual and easy to understand

Part 3: Packaging it up and pushing it through the process

Includes sample submissions

I hope this helps. Feel free to post questions here or on the blog. 

If you think this info is valuable, please share to your social networks. We need to get it circulated as widely as possible.



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Kudos for the massive amount of effort there.

Can't wait for strict liability laws so that the people on their bikes without cameras can get a slice of justice in 2017... 2018...

And our friends over at BNSW have had these pages for a while

The "evidence" of enforcement is pretty minimal with single digit (appropriately) number of fines for motorists close passing in the last almost 2 years while there have been thousands of cyclists fined for no helmet or bell!

Yes, I've been working with BNSW closely, helping other riders who tap them for assistance.

There is a major cultural problem at NSW Police with regard to accepting MPDL complaints let alone acting on them. Police who will take these complaints seriously are rare and you have to dot every I and cross every T with the rest. The local traffic sergeant at Northern Beaches for example has the view that bike lanes are meant for getting riders out of drivers' way. Makes it difficult to get headway when faced with that mentality.

So my approach has been to create a documentary trail where ignoring me will be more hassle than doing the right thing. 

Pretty sad, really, but representative of our virulently anti-cycling culture generally.

Indeed. I've taken some pretty obvious close footage into Chatswood cop shop, including measurements, additional photos and comparison footage from the same camera angle of of one metre looks like, and been told by the officer on the desk that I was lying; my measurements were wrong and the car driver was more than one metre away and he would not even take my statement.

Later on, I had a police car from the same command pass me closer than one metre. Again, little action was taken, other than some vague promise to 'educate the driver involved'.

Police attitudes are a major issue. As useful as this is, even more useful would be to know the specific police stations and even officers that take this seriously - then we can all make or complaints to them!

Did you run that past BNSW? Sounds familiar.

Your experience is why I submit things in writing. The document trail removes deniability and improves accountability.

Beat cops I have found on the whole to be pretty useless for pretty much any matter. I was assaulted at North Narrabeen by ice addict John Vincent Dunne in a highly publicised "surf rage" case that made the major papers. It was not until he slapped a lifeguard that detectives got involved and it got some traction. I still had to spoon feed them and get witnesses for them through a forum like this. Up until the detectives got involved, the beat cops just laughed and said "we're not CSI". No shit, sherlock. Unlike you, they take their work seriously.

Unfortunately I can't share the name of the first police officer who helped me as he would get inundated. We have to push through this systemic bias and get attitudes fixed.

You may have seen the Channel 7 piece on my friend Cameron Frewer taking the fight for justice to QPS in the last 2 days.

Hi John,

Thanks for all this information, experiences and the guides. Although i never posted about it here, I did use the previous post concerning the green ute driver to report an incident on galston climb in hornsby, I believe this was successfully prosecuted.

The process with the officer in Gordon used only a fly6 footage and was cordial, but again it was lengthy and I had to overcome natural inclination not to take the situation seriously. I think a fly12 evidance would have been better ofcourse.

Keep up the good work, I just wanted to let you know that others do use information like yours and bnsw sheets in reporting incidents that may not post about them.

Best Regards,


What we need is a Kickstarter project to build a cheap video camera, GPS and with an indisputably accurate distance measurement to the passing vehicle, how hard can that be?

and yes, great work putting this together.

And software that automatically uploads it to the infringement system, which automatically produces an infringement, like the red light speed cameras

I believe a Queensland university has put out a request for tender for just such a device.

If there was a portal to upload footage and give statements atleast that would help a lot. Basically a sort of case managment/reporting system.

It would be interesting if this attitude is adopted when a cyclist is killed by a bogan doing a punishment pass.

This is a friend of mine, Cameron Frewer, who has finally had enough of driver and police attitudes in Queensland.


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