On February 14, 2012 I experienced an incident which I consider to be dangerous passing by an operator of a CTI Xpress truck registration number 1DJQ 144. This incident occurred on West Coast Drive, North Beach on a single lane 50 km/h road which wanders along the northern coast of Perth, Western Australia.
I have regularly ridden this road over the past three or more years in both directions as part of my commute to Joondalup. While I have experienced some incidents at roundabouts mainly to the north and south of the location of this incident, this is only the second dangerous or close pass that I have experienced which I felt warranted further attention. Hundreds of vehicles pass myself and other cyclists on this road daily without it seems trouble. A little bit of patience, a bit of care and consideration and a safe speed go a long way. Not however for this CTI Xpress operator who saved a whole four seconds passing me like this.
When watching the video I am sure you have noticed the shared path on my left and are maybe wondering why I wasn’t on that. I made a decision some years back to not ride the path due to both my speed and the amount of pedestrian traffic one experiences on the path. This path is a not a Principal Shared Path, rather it is a Regional Shared Path (RSP) which according to the City of Stirling has over its six kilometre length some 72 beach access points; i.e., points where people come and go from the path.
This Regional Shared Path is well used by adult pedestrians, runners, beach goers, kids, dogs and recreational cyclists and is not ideal for relatively fast cycling. In fact the City of Stirling has had the WA Police on the RSP interacting with “high speed cyclists”. My experience with the path is that I have more “at risk moments” than I would like and I have no desire to be involved in an incident with a pedestrian, particular as the liability is rightly in their favour. It also has a number of driveway access points which also increase risk levels.
With respect to the road, it is well used by high speed cyclists (I use the term high speed cyclist in relative terms. I am hardly a high speed cyclist compared to most here for sure but I do ride at much higher speed where appropriate than the average recreational cyclist seen on this RSP and at a speed that I would not be comfortable sharing the path with pedestrians, runners, beach goers, dogs and kids) and in the number of years I have ridden it this is one of the few incidents I have experienced which given the traffic flows is very good. I have more issues at the roundabouts further north and south of this section than I do in this section. Interesting cars and 4WD passed me safety before and afterwards; other delivery trucks passed me safely.
The City of Stirling was actually given a grant to put in place on-road cycling lanes for this road however Main Roads overruled the decision. They have also taken action to slow down cyclists at one point on this RSP.
Hence I use the road as do many other cyclists.
Another cyclist describe as like riding in the CBD at times. In my view an adapt description.
Writing to CTI Xpress with regards to 1DJQ 144
As a result of this incident I have written to Mr David Mellor, Joint Managing Director of CTI Logistics Ltd, the parent of CTI Xpress on February 15, 2012 . The content of that letter is reproduced below.
Mr David Mellor
Joint Managing Director
CTI Logistics Limited
PO Box 400
WEST PERTH WA 6102
Dear Mr Mellor
I am writing in respect of a traffic incident involving a CTI Xpress vehicle while I was riding my bicycle on West Coast Drive in North Beach on the morning of Tuesday February 14, 2012. The enclosed DVD contains the video recording of the incident. The video was recorded via front and rear facing cameras installed on my bicycle.
I was riding legally in a northerly direction on West Coast Drive, North Beach, Western Australia on Tuesday February 14, 2012 when I was passed at 8:13 AM very closely and in a dangerous and reckless manner (the driver actually swerved at me, forcing me towards the kerb) by a CTI Xpress truck, registration number 1DJQ 144.
Prior to the dangerous and reckless passing by your driver I had been passed safely by numerous vehicles including two motorists moments before, yet your driver not only felt it necessary to attempt to squeeze pass extremely close and clearly without any consideration for other road users, net alone a vulnerable road user, he decided to “add excitement” to his actions by swerving at me, forcing me to take evasive action and nearly forcing me into the kerb. At that point in time I expected to taken out by your driver and to incur serious injuries or worse.
The actions of your driver were not only threatening to myself, they also put your company at risk of litigation and damage to your reputation. I therefore suggest you take immediate steps to ensure your drivers clearly understand that they clearly understand the road rules and how to share the road with care and respect towards all road users.
Furthermore this reckless and irresponsible action by your driver saved him all four seconds (I was four seconds behind him when he turned right into Beach Road). That is right, your driver saved a whole four seconds whilst putting myself at risk!
Please take immediate steps to ensure your drivers are properly trained in safe driving and understand the place of all road users on the road, including cyclists. No one else should have to have an experience such as I did.
In closing I hope that any further correspondence and/or dealing with your company is in a more positive note.
For me besides the obvious issue of getting hit and likely seriously injured is that this CTI Xpress driver just treated this incident so casually. No stopping, no apology, no acknowledgement all. Only interested in getting away as quickly as possible. What is worse he knew what had taken place.
I hope that CTI Xpress wake-up and treat this matter very seriously. No cyclist, no vulnerable road user should be put at risk by this sort of driving and I hope that Mr Mellor understands this and take steps to ensure all his drivers understand this as well.
As to the Western Australia Police, I have reported this incident involving a CTI Xpress vehicle to Senior Sergeant Lagan at West Metropolitan Traffic as I believe that there is at least a breach of regulation 124 of the Western Australian Road Traffic Code 2000. My one only past interaction with the West Metropolitan Traffic was positive so hopefully this will be the same. Maybe with the recent commentary piece in the West Australian by the Commissioner of Police Dr Karl O’Callaghan things are on the improve. .
If I receive a response from CTI Xpress or CTI Logistics Ltd and/or the Western Australia Police I will update this blog posting.
One final comment, CTI Xpress or rather their parent company CTI Logistics Ltd contact email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If so wish I believe that constructive feedback to CTI Xpress from cyclists would be of value. We need to companies such as CTI Logistics Limited to undersand that cyclists are mums and dads, brothers and sisters and sons and daughters too and we should should be allowed to use the roads in safety. Maybe the same message needs to get through to the Western Australia Police as well. They are on twitter at @WA_Police, Facebook here and they have a contact form here.