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Broadtrans Earthmoving – Road Safety versus Letter of Demand

 

On August 30, 2011 I was riding north in the morning during the “peak hour cycling traffic time” on the Mitchell Freeway Principal Shared Path (northern PSP) when I came across a Broadtrans Earthmoving truck and trailer unit parked on Telford Crescent in Stirling, Western Australia in the clearly marked two-way cycling lanes located on the western side of Telford Crescent.  As my bicycle mounted DVDR camera was in operation I posted a video of what was observed on YouTube. On  February 22, 2012 I received a “letter of demand” from Broadtrans Earthmoving demanding the removal of the video. 

Location of and Background to the Broadtrans Earthmoving Parking Matter


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The Broadtrans Earthmoving truck and trailer was, as mentioned parked on Telford Crescent in Stirling, Western Australia. The location of the truck and trailer unit was at a point where the morning traffic cycling traffic (peak traffic flow) comes down a short but fast hill from Cedric Street and then turns right on to Telford Crescent. The parked truck and trailer unit in my view and as I experienced it, blocked both the view of northbound and southbound cyclists exiting from and entering the PSP as it climbs to Cedric Street.

Cyclists traveling in both directions but more so for the city bound cyclists where forced to move on to the road to pass the Broadtrans Earthmoving truck and trailer unit and critically the city bound cyclists where coming on Telford Crescent without a clear view of what was coming around the truck. A very risky situation in my view and a potential breach of the City of Stirling bylaws and/or the Western Australian Road Traffic Code 2000. In my view there was reasonable alternative options for the operator of the truck and trailer unit to park and complete his business in a safe and efficient manner without creating a serious hazard for vulnerable road users. Given the receipt of the letter of demand, I can only assue that this is not a view held by Broadtrans Earthmoving.

Broadtrans Earthmoving Letter of Demand and Response

In August 2011 I posted the video of the Broadtrans Earthmoving truck and trailer unit on YouTube.com and brought the matter to the attention of the City of Stirling. I received a resonse from Greg Perryman at the City of Stirling. That response was

Thank you for your email.

I am unable to check this You Tube clip as the City of Stirling computers don’t allow this site to be accessed.

I can understand your frustration and the Area Ranger has been made aware of the issues in this street and will take any appropriate action. I know this problem may not be an ongoing issue but with regular patrols hopefully the area will be safe for all bike users. If you ever come across these issues again for a quicker response please call 9345 8555 and a Ranger can attend.

If you have any further queries please contact me via return email or by phone on 9345 8538.

In the scheme of things this matter did rank up there in the “must take further action” rankings and whilst in my view it was an inconsiderate and unsafe practice of Broadtrans Earthmoving I didn’t feel that the response from the City of Stirling warranted further follow-up and I hoped the video being posted on YouTube would be sufficient to raise awareness of these sorts of issues.

We roll around to February 2012. On February 22, 2012 I received an email from Bek Carew-Gibson, Accounts Administration at Broadtrans Earthmoving with the subject line “Letter of Demand.”  That email reads as follows:

I am contacting you on behalf of Broadtrans Earthmoving. We ask that you immediately remove a video you have posted on You Tube that features our business truck and one of our workers. If you have not removed the video or responded to our email by Thursday 23rd February 2012, 4pm we will be taking legal action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLDQ4GOgCBI

Kind Regards,
Bek Carew-Gibson
Accounts Administration

Given this email I sought appropriate advice and responded as follows on Friday February 24, 2012.

Dear Bek
Thank you for your email and my apologies for the delayed response. I thought it was important to obtain appropriate advice before replying.
I am pleased to hear that this video has come to the attention of your company as, in my opinion, parking a truck and trailer combination in a clearly identified bike lane is neither smart nor considerate and has the potential to put legitimate users at serious risk. It appears from your email that you are conscious of the importance of your legal obligations under the City of Stirling bylaws and the Western Australian Road Traffic Code 2000 and I hope that you will take all necessary action to ensure there is no recurrence of this practice.
Concerning your request that I remove the video, unfortunately I am not able to properly consider your request due to the lack of any reasons as to why I am obliged to do so. If you can advise on what specific basis you believe the video should be removed, I will be happy to reconsider my response.
Regards
Andrew

What concerns me with this matter and in particular the email from Broadtrans Earthmoving is the failure to address the question as why the truck and trailer parked where it was and why was it necessary, even critical for to happen. There were it appears to me to be other safer and I assume reasonable access options available.

This then begs the question: If this was that only place the Broadtrans Earthmoving truck and trailer unit could be park why didn’t the operator of the truck and trailer unit not put in place appropriate and sufficient numbers of traffic hazard cones and/or warning signs to redue the risk of a more serious incident occurring?

In summary I post these videos to raise awareness of safety issues, to educate and to improve the way the cyclists and motorists interact. I really do hope that Broadtrans Earthmoving reflects carefully on this matter and adopts a more positive approach to safe operating practices and a considerate and safe approach to all road users, but more so vulnerable road users.

8 Responses to Broadtrans Earthmoving – Road Safety versus Letter of Demand

  1. Greg March 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM #

    That’s so dodgy. Watching the vid I had a bit of an uh oh! moment when you rounded the truck and the driver was right there. I wonder if they will ever get back to you with a reason to take the video down. I guess if they don’t want to be filmed breaking the law then they shouldn’t do so in public?

    • Aushiker March 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM #

      It has been over two weeks since I replied to their email and nothing so I assume that nothing further is forthcoming unless I hear from a lawyer :)

  2. Cyclesnail March 12, 2012 at 3:55 PM #

    I like the 24 hour timeframe to respond. I suspect when you indicated that you had to look for advice before responding, they realised that they themselves forgot to get advice before writing the letter? (Otherwise it would have been straight from their lawyer). It will be interesting to see how it pans out…

    • Aushiker March 12, 2012 at 5:26 PM #

      I suspect that they didn’t get any advice at all.

  3. Matt March 13, 2012 at 8:13 AM #

    I guess they’ve learned at least one valuable lesson – never bluff on a pair of twos ;)

    • Aushiker March 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM #

      Yes or don’t rely on TV for your understanding of the law … learn to Google instead :)

  4. Jackie November 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM #

    I don’t know why you didn’t contact Broadtrans direct instead of posting a video on YouTube and contacting teh City of Stirling. Seems you are moreintent on stirring things than educating the Broadtrans employee who parked the truck which surely would be a better result for everyone?

    • Aushiker November 8, 2012 at 11:07 PM #

      Thanks for your comments but I believe I have already explained my position in my post with the exception of contacting Broadtrans directly.

      With regards to contacting Broadtrans directly, I considered this matter to of a reasonable seriousness that warranted review by the City of Stirling due to the possible violations of local laws. I also consider it more appropriate that the appropriate authority, the City of Stirling in this instance, handle any follow-up which of course can range from a friendly discussion through to the formal prosecution. Given Broadtrans response to the video I believe my decision has been shown to be the correct one.

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