Tuesday, 10 November 2009

getting knocked off the bike

On 30th September, I was knocked off my bike in Clifton. I was turning right into Worcester Road from College Road, and a car that was waiting to emerge from Worcester Road pulled out into me, knocking me off the bike, and injuring me.

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Last week I got a phone call from the Collisions Support Unit, telling me that they were not going to charge the driver with anything, as they had received a witness statement claiming that I had been going too fast, and that I was not signalling, and that I was cutting the corner. None of this is true, so I was really rather upset. I wrote back to them, as follows:

To: Collision Support Unit
Avon and Somerset Constabulary
Re; ROAD TRAFFIC COLLISION Worcester Road junction with College Road, Clifton, Bristol. Time: 12:30 Hours Date: 30th September 2009
Dear Sir or Madam,
I refer to this incident, when I was knocked from my bicycle and injured, while turning into a side road, by a car emerging from that side road.
I received a phone call from a member of your unit on Wednesday 4th November, advising me that you did not propose to take action against the driver involved in this incident. I understand that a witness has given his opinion that I was to blame, alleging that:
  1. I was riding too fast
  2. I was not indicating
  3. I was cutting the corner
I am very concerned by this, on the following grounds:
  1. In my opinion, I was going at a safe and appropriate speed. What is ‘too fast’, and why did the witness think that I was going ‘too fast’?
  2. I was indicating, precisely as described in my statement. As I was about to turn into a junction where a car was waiting to emerge, it would have been foolish of me not to signal my intentions. I am a cyclist, a car driver, and a sometime motorcyclist. I understand the importance of making my intentions clear to other road users. I always indicate before manoeuvring when riding my bicycle.
  3. It would have been impossible for me to cut the corner even had I wanted to, as the Ford Galaxy that was waiting at the junction was straddling the white line at the middle of Worcester Road, the side road into which I was turning. The position of the car can be seen in the photograph which I attached to my statement.
  4. I understand that the witness in question was working in a house opposite the junction. The house is set back from the road, with a courtyard at the front, and the witness’ large white van was parked in that courtyard. He came across to the scene of the collision, and spent some time talking with the driver; I was sitting on the ground in a dazed condition, and missed what was said. I question how much of the incident he actually saw, and what grounds he had for venturing his opinion that I was at fault.
I appreciate that you are busy, but I feel that I have been wronged. As it seems that I shall be denied the possibility of cross-examining the witness at a hearing, I should be most grateful if you would question him further to clarify what he actually saw, as I am sure that he would not willingly be understood to have said something which is not true.
Yours sincerely,
Drusilla Marland
...well, I heard back from the police this morning; a police officer phoned me and said that they were not going to take the matter any further, as they can't just go around interviewing people who have sent witness statements in, in case it discourages them from doing it, or something. So I (and indeed the police) will never get to ask the mystery man why he said what he said.