In the hands of my Lawyer - Part the Second
So when we last visited this sorry tale, I had unburdened my soul to the poor Bicycle NSW dude who was just trying to serve coffees, and I trundled into work to happily await contact from my chosen bike advocacy group regarding my next steps.
I did receive a quite cheery email a day or so later from the BN “Rider’s Rights” co-ordinator (who knew we had any eh ?) and the incident was logged on their database, I guess in case Numbnuts struck again in the future.
The email included a link to a NSW Police form to report the incident, which I dutifully did. I actually like online forms because a) I don’t particularly look forward to confrontation or b) like meeting new people (which is after all why I blog).
Aaand a week later I received a brusque-ish response saying that was the incorrect form, and I needed to come into a Police Station. Sigh.
Having not been into a Police Station that I can recall, I was really taken aback by how shoddy it was, very 1970’s utilitarian. Interesting. Soviet chic is so hot right now.
I waited behind a couple whose car wing mirror had been ripped off by a passing bus, and thanked my lucky stars I hadn't encountered that particular driver, and then it was my turn; I explained that a driver had deliberately dropped in on another cyclist and I with less than a metre to spare.
The Senior Constable gave me a grave look; and asked me if I had video footage.
I confessed I did not. He raised his arms and eyes to the ceiling like a Shakespearean tragedy actor of yore, crying out "Noo, why not?"
I was one part amused, one part taken aback by this, and the rest of me just didn't know what i was thinking; but I did think that was going to be the end of it.
But no, Senior Constable Awesome Dude took my photo of the plate number and looked the driver up; as he said, if they drive like that once, they possibly have a history of it.
Senior Constable [let's call him] Chad paged down the screen a few times, sort of hmmm-ing to himself, and then, while I'm standing there, picks up the phone and makes a call. I thought he was phoning a colleague to come and look at something on the screen, but then I hear him identify himself and say "Garry, I have a lady here making a complaint about your driving last Thursday at 7am - now there's always two sides to a story, may I ask you what happened?"
Ermagherd, JUSTICE was happening right in front of me !
I hear the other side of the conversation get a bit high and whiny, like an annoying little wasp caught in a sticky bottle; Mr Dickhead is obviously having a massive tanty about being called up. I knew it was him because I could hear his Scots accent, so I knew Chad wasn't speaking to the talking clock or his home voicemail.
Chad lets him rant on and then says "So Garry, in the traffic situation you've just described, how was it you were able to pull off the manoeuvre you just described in a safe manner?"
After a few other damming questions like that, Chad brought up that Garry has a motorbike licence too, and asks him if when riding his bike, does he ride in the gutter or out in the lane where motorists can see him and not try silly manoeuvres like squeezing past or dropping in on his lane ...
The conversation went on like that for a bit more, SuperChad reminded Mr Dickhead that cyclists have the right to be on the road and in a lane with a minimum safe clearance, and it was bloody marvellous.
Then Chad wraps it up with a "Look, all I can say is that if this lady had video footage of what you've both described, I'd be over there now issuing you with a fine and you'd be coping a few demerit points too. Next time it won't be a polite call."
And that was pretty much it, I thanked Chad, keeping my glee mostly under wraps, went off and bought a couple of cameras for the inevitable next time.
So although I'd been a bit sour on our police force of late, thanks to #GetStuffedDunc, this was I think actually as good as an experience as I could expect, and gave me some hope.
Anyone sensing a theme here ? Anyone ... anyone ..?