It seems that a senior officer (I failed to get his name) at Western Police West Metropolitan is to quote himself “has better things to” than be bothered by my completing the WA Police Contact Form and requesting a reply seeking the name of the Officer in Charge Traffic so I could submit my incident report to the most appropriate person. It seems that a member of the Western Australian community should not waste Police resources seeking such information; actually it seems that a member of the Western Australian community shouldn’t dare to properly report a road traffic incident. No it is better they can use the online reporting form so that the incident can be brushed under the carpet … learnt that lesson a long time ago.
Sadly this is not the first time West Metropolitan Traffic has been inconvenienced by a cyclist reporting a traffic incident. The first time required a follow-up via the Commission of Police to get a response. That report for the record resulted in the driver being issued an infringement notice for careless driving (Incident report number 220911 1532 85478 refers) . I can only assume now that was an inconvenience too.
Well I have now sent in my traffic incident report to the Commissioner of Police but frankly I do expect to hear anything more about it and have made that clear in my letter to the Commissioner. After all we cannot inconvenience the Police can we nor it seems can the Police be expected to abide by their own Customer Service Charter.
I am now not sure I will bother reporting incidents to the WA Police in the future as per my Fremantle Police policy (1), well at least with the expectation that anything positive will happen. Rather I may just send my reports to the Commissioner and Minister of Police as a record of note. I just hope for the sake of the Western Australia Police that I never get seriously injured or killed on my bike as I wouldn’t like to inconvenience them with having to let my partner and children know. I also hope that the drivers I would have reported will never kill or seriously injure someone else and thus inconvenience the Western Australia Police.
(1) I have stopped reporting incidents to the Western Australian Police Fremantle Station as it is clear to me they are only interested in cyclists not wearing helmets; not actually policing motorist who put their lives at risk.
For clarity of this discussion my letter to the Commissioner of Police follows along with the traffic report and video. You can make your own judgements on whether I have called this fairly or not.
The incident as recored on my front camera which sparked all this …
Letter of February 15, 2013 to Commissioner Karl O’ Callaghan, Commissioner of Police, Western Australia Police
Dear Dr O’Callaghan
REFERENCE: TRAFFIC INCIDENT FEBRUARY 11, 2013 REGISTRATION KBC 8459.
I was reporting this incident directly to you as it seems that name of the Officer-in-Charge Traffic at West Metropolitan Traffic is top secret information and hence I have no idea who to direct this correspondence to. I would to suggest Commissioner if WA Police continues to have a “Contact Us” page with a question “Reply requested” that provides the choice of yes or no that when the “yes” choice is made that replies are actually made. Surly it is simply a matter of manners is it not? After all your own Customer Service Charter suggests it should be. Funny thing is that very Charter advises contacting the WA Police to provide feedback; feedback on your failure to provide …. feedback!
Prior to posting this letter today I received a call from an officer at West Metropolitan Traffic apparently upset at my request for the information and my advising by the Contact Form that I was following up the lack of response via this letter. Apparently he had better things to do!
Commissioner I too would rather not have to waste my time going to all this trouble to report issues and to follow-up the lack of responses, but lets get this straight, it is not my fault that this is the only way I believe that incidents can reported as I no longer have faith in the WA Police and its attitude towards vulnerable road users. I remind you also Commissioner the prior incident at the same roundabout had to be followed up through your office to have the compliant reviewed (reference Incident Report 220911 1532 85478). It is very disappointing to see this happening yet again and sadly not for the second time as the records show.
You can rest assured that I will not bother trying to obtain contact details for incident reports again in light of this experience. In fact I doubt I will bother reporting incidents in future as per my policy for incidents occurring in the area of responsibility of Fremantle Police.
Whilst I no longer believe that this matter will be investigated with integrity, if at all, and hence do not expect to hear further on, I am for the record documenting the incident that occurred.
This is a very sad day Commissioner that we have reached the point where WA Police holds so little value for human life; so little value for the life of vulnerable road users.
My Traffic Complaint Statement which is Inconveniencing the WA Police
TRAFFIC COMPLAINT – KBC 8459 WEST COAST DRIVE, KARRINYUP
Date and time of incident: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM as recorded on the video.
Location of incident:
Figure 1: West Coast Drive, (Trigg Beach) Karrinyup, Western Australia. Nearest crossroad – West Coast Highway
1. I am a 53 year old employed as an academic living at an address known to police.
2. I can recall Monday February 11, 2013.
3. I do not know the offender in this matter.
4. Between 5:20 PM and 5:25 PM Monday February 11, 2013 I was riding my bicycle in a southerly direction along West Coast Drive approaching the roundabout at the northern car park entrance to the Trigg Beach.
5. As I was entering the roundabout heading south towards the Trigg Beach car park I became aware of a white SUV on my left approaching the roundabout.
6. Having entered the roundabout and at approximately two to three seconds into the roundabout I suddenly realised that the vehicle, the white SUV on my left was not going to stop and give way as required.
7. The SUV vehicle, which I believe is a Ford Territory continued to enter the roundabout before turning right and exiting the roundabout in a northerly direction on West Coast Drive.
8. As soon as I realised the Ford Territory was not going to give way I called out a warning whilst reducing my speed further.
9. The driver did not show any signs of hearing my warning call.
10. The driver did not show any signs of being aware of my presence in the roundabout as he drove his Ford Territory into roundabout and in front of me.
11. As the Ford Territory passes in front of me the video records the vehicle registration number as KBC 8459.
12. I continued on my way south heading into the Trigg Beach car park.
13. I could see who was driving KBC 8459 at the time of the incident. The driver was male, I estimate him to be in his mid to late 30s with dark hair and a beard, possibly a goatee. The driver appeared to be of a larger size and was wearing a light coloured shirt.
14. There may have been a passenger in the front left seat but I am not 100% certain.
15. I have not seen that vehicle since that day.
16. This incident has been recorded on a Jumbo HD808 #11 key digital video camera mounted on my bicycle’s handlebar to the left of the stem.
17. Due to past experience at this roundabout where it is common to have vehicles stop pass the give-way line when they realise a vehicle is in the roundabout and having experienced a previous incident similar to this one (please refer to Inspector SM Warner’s letter of November 14, 2011, Incident Report 220911 1532 85478) I take a very cautious approach to this roundabout ensuring my speed is such that I can stop if necessary. In this incident I was able to reduce my speed further without resorting to an emergency stop.
● That this driver thinks their aggressive behaviour towards other road users is acceptable.
● That they may behave this way to other road users who feel unable to take the matter further without access to supporting proof of the aggressive behaviour.
● That they have an incomplete knowledge of the road rules as it relates to their requirements as road users.
● They have no knowledge of the traffic regulations as they relate to cyclists and cyclists use of the roads.
● That my pre-cautionary approach to this roundabout avoided a crash and possible serious injuries or worse to myself.
● A less experienced cyclist or one not familiar with driver behaviour at this roundabout could have been seriously injured or worse.
What I would like:
● I would like this driver to be charged with applicable offences under the Western Australian Road Traffic Regulations. I draw your attention to the previous incident referred to above. I believe it is reasonable to expect a similar Traffic Infringement Notice to be issued.
● I am happy to make a formal statement about the matter, please let me know when I can do this.
● I am prepared to go to court and give evidence should the driver contest any charges brought against them.
● I have retained the full video from which this extract has been taken should it be required for evidence or analysis.