DCC and the near-miss website

At a DCC meeting attended by Spokes and Better Streets and the Hospital bike user group, @mjenks made the very good suggestion that “near-miss” reporting would be a good idea. Most sources of statistics on road safety require serious injury or worse before they even get recorded. Apparently some other cities in NZ are actively trying to record “near-misses”, and DCC took note and has a link from their website to the BikeMaps.org.

As a daily commuter cyclist I frequently have had moments where cars have passed dangerously close and on many occasions I’ve reported dangerous driving on the 105 website. Of course I’ve never had a single response from them. “Licensed taxi driver jumping a pedestrian crossing with kids on it, caught on camera”? Clearly not important. Anyway, I’ll try reporting incidents on BikeMaps.org and hope that maybe concentrations of reports will lead to change.

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With the increasing number of cyclists and other road users with cameras on the front and back of their bikes, perhaps it’ll make it easier for people to report dangerous behaviour to the police and others.

In the flip side of this, does anyone know if the opposite has been done? Recording and reporting particularly considerate and thoughtful behaviour towards cyclists from motorists and truckies etc and sending them rewards. Maybe a Whittakers could sponsor it and good road users could be sent a chocolate bar in the mail. Or the government could even introduce “merit points” to reward good behaviour. Perhaps a naive idea fraught with complexity, but worth considering.

This is a great idea, I just don’t know who would lead it and how it would be run. Our government is basically doing absoutely nothing in the lead up to the election, and local government is overworked as it is. While us as recipients of good behaviour could record it with our cameras, how do we then identify those drivers? As an aside…years ago I was stopped by a Gendarme while driving a rental car in Paris with my wife. I think I’d broken some traffic law or was just the only one actually driving the speed limit, but for whatever reason I was pulled up. After an anxious 20 minutes waiting for unknown reasons, a van pulled up and a man jumped out with a bouquet of roses for my wife and a blue French rugby jersey for me. A reward for great driving (yeah, right). Perhaps a programme to try and reset the poor perception of French attitudes to tourists?

Me too! I did get a response from a recent (this year) 105, but that was in relation to a non-cycling matter. I gave up on cycling ones a few years ago, so maybe they have improved their automated emailing.

I like this - especially the embed on a DCC page which implies that they take an interest. I’ll put this in as a link here on betterstreets.nz and look at embedding it in this site too.

While @Duncan’s idea is kind of cool, it does come with one big problem which you articulate nicely: getting the reward to the driver.

  1. If you ‘pull them over’ it is an anxious and awkward experience
  2. Difficult / impossible to identify the driver + their contact details for a delayed reward

If that could be navigated successfully, we could have a winner.

I have also completed a number of 105 online reports with no feedback. I thought i was going to get some for sure when i saw a plain clothes police car run a red light (not while in pursuit of anything) but sadly no response. I hope this bike maps tool will be useful for identifying problem hotspots.

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ok great to know about the near/miss and hit websie. Reported my minor hit on the cylceway near lawcourts yesterday.

Have we discussed this with DCC? It would be great to get feedback from DCC if they are actually using this info on the bikemaps.org website. They could also just have it on the website just to seem to be doing something about it, but don’t do anything with this. It would be good to know from the DCC what the best way is to report this eg. via police or via council.

The easiest way would be to share video footage of an incident which is being used overseas quite a bit. They get an automatic fine depending on what they are doing, which would be relatively easy to set up by the council. But the question is if there is political will to exactly do that. The hard part would be convincing council to step up.

This has been discussed with dcc. The hard part is making it worthwhile for people to report stuff. The mechanisms for accepting video evidence and prosecuting based on reports from the public don’t appear to exist in nz.