Thursday 1 November 2012

getting knocked off my bike: closure

Just over three years ago, I was knocked off my bike. The driver pulled out on me as I was turning into a side road. I sustained broken ribs, a banged head, and sundry cuts and bruises. The police took no interest in the case; indeed, the chap at the Collisions Support Unit told me that they had considered charging me....

Three years later, after assistance from a local bike-friendly law firm, I've finally got closure of a sort; yesterday a cheque arrived for just under £3000.

I'm pretty certain that the photographs I took at the scene, which contradicted the allegations made against me, made all the difference to my claim. If there is a perception that the police side with the motorist in the case of any incident involving a cyclist, then my experience did nothing to weaken that perception.

I always carry my camera anyway (the day it doesn't go out with me will be the day that something incredibly interesting will happen, of course).

But I'm also thinking of getting a helmet cam. Even though I hate helmets.


  1. Well done!

    The CPS are completely useless in these situations, I have a friend in London whose experience mirrors yours with respect to prosecution.

  2. Yay, though. Yay and yay. Well done, that woman, for seeing it through. XX

  3. Result! Well done for sticking with it, Dru.

  4. Well done! Glad that you got some sort of closure after so long!


  5. As a cyclist I can speak of similar incidences and can relate to how it felt. The motorist always feels that as you do not pay road tax you have no rights. Camera is a good idea but remember to photo the driver also.

  6. Sad to hear how close you came to having this turned against you. We sometimes have the idea that Europe and by extension Britain is a bicycle-friendly place while we are backward here in the colonies.

    Anyway, you should be able to get a pretty spiffy bike cam for under £3000! :)

  7. At last; some sort of recompense for your awful experience. (I have to admit, when first seeing the photo, I thought it might be a Hallow e'en post).

    The law is a funny thing; all bent up and seemingly illogical. I am glad you came out of it relatively unscathed, although I think you are braver than me. I am not sure I would get on a bike again after that.

  8. You state at the end of your blog that you hate helmets. My daughter fell off her bike on the way home from school a few weeks back, Her helmet saved her life and yes I do mean just fell off. Here's the picture I took of her helmet afterwards. You may hate helmets but they save lives.

  9. Very glad that your ordeal comes with a happy ending of sorts. Of course it would have been better if it had never happened. But at least justice has now been properly served.

  10. Congratulations on getting through to the end. I hope that you don't need a camera of any sort to photograph the scene of an accident ever again.

  11. At last!
    A helmet cam could be interesting...proof of those times when you just cannot believe how cars are being driven. Have you seen some of those on youtube? I watched a few via the londonfixedgear forum. Incredible.

  12. If you hate helmets, maybe you should get a cam for the handlebars, and one of these head protection systems. Very stylish!

  13. Congratulations and felicitations Dru! I once looked into head cams to film wildlife in motion... especially raptors.

    Here's a site you mightbe interested in - you may already have come across them - they have a specialist bike cam or a clamp mount for bullet cams that should fit on handlebars...

    Hope you never need it though... but you might catch some stunning wildlife!

  14. Thank you, veryone! -took ages to get round to replying cos I was rather overwhelmed by your response!

    Mark, I did try out a helmet, but found that I had three near misses on my ride around Bristol on the very same day; my own experience confirms that research indicating that cars act more aggressively to cyclists in helmets...

    That's a remarkable device, Halle! -looks far to clever for its own good, and would probably go off when I dropped it down the stairs, as I inevitably would... just been looking at Yakkay helmets, the ones with covers on, in hopes that I might find something that doesn't look helmet-y.

    Yes, I've seen quite a few of those vids, Gwynneth! Some scary stuff. One of the contributors to the Bristol Traffic blog (highly recommended) finally secured the prosecution of a driver who dangerously cut up him and his son as they cycled across a roundabout. So yay!

    Thanks for that link, Toni!

  15. Have only just seen this Dru - congratulations! I remember the post you wrote when it first happened, and remember how infuriating the response of police and onlookers was... Well done you for seeing it through to the bitter end (or the drink of your choice with the £3K!) Good for the soul to finally see a good outcome for a blameless cyclist...