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NSW Negligent Driving

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by scottyokajima, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Hello NetRider forum, I am new to this forum and would really appreciate if anyone can help clarify a few things in regards to a negligent driving fine that I have received. I have read the other posts about Neg Driving Fines however their circumstances are different and I feel do not relate to my case.
    My names Scott, I am 19, and I have been riding my bike (ZX2R) for several months now. Although still on my L's, I have been accustomed to the roads in my area for both commuting for work daily and also for group rides.

    One Saturday morning after work (split shift 5-8am), I was riding my bike on my way home behind a friend of mine in a car (with the fair 3m gap) when we approach a corner turning right. Bear in mind that although it was nice weather, it had been raining the night before up until early morning, so the floor had still been somewhat wet. Before we approach the turn, I was planning to overtake my friend as he was slowing down (on straight road), but as I reached the turn, my friend was still ahead of me so I tried to slow down. As I turned the corner, my efforts to change direction were not enough which kept me in a slightly upright position. This was due to the fact that the floor was covered in white lines (paint lines for the road- but on the side) which made it slippery, and also the fact that I didn't have much sleep the previous night, which may have made my decisions slow, however I have ridden without harm or any problems on countless occasions after work as I am always filled with coffee. As I continued knowing that I was going to crash, in shock I got a bit of whiskey throttle and ended up crashing straight into a tree at about 60ks. I ended up flipping and landing on the floor, in full protective gear, except boots. I felt no pain in my upper body and did not get any damage to both my helmet or jacket, but knew something was wrong with my leg as it was in lots of pain.

    There were no witnesses of the accident and the lights had been red at the lights before the turn. Lying on the floor, I indicated to passer-bys for assistance and shortly after several cars pulled aside to help me and called the ambulance. They arrived 30 minutes later, without sirens on, and even stopped at the red lights before getting here.
    Surely if the emergency number for the ambulance is called, they should at least have their sirens on? As the fee for the ambulance service still gets paid for? If the charge is to be brought up and its a large amount, will I be able to dispute to reduce the cost as they had not at least given me the courtesy of arriving as fast as possible, in which I even saw them waiting at the traffic light closest to me as I was on the ground.

    Cops later arrived on scene, and after getting all of my details, they advised me that I will be fined just because they happened to arrive to the crash, even though I was already injured, and getting carried into the ambulance. I had no insurance on the vehicle and was advised by a social worker in the hospital that I had the chance of claiming from my third party insurer for some medical costs or lost wages however didn't give effort towards it as I was in hospital for most of the time and was unable to complete the forms.
    A few weeks later after I returned home, I received a penalty notice of the crash with a fine of $433 for Negligent Driving (No Death or GBH) and listed as a demerit offence. For a person that's on a learner licence, surely they would give discretion to when a person crashed without any damages or injuries to any other parties. Especially as there are no witnesses to my accident. Is there any piece of legislation that can support my claim and either remove the fine or the loss of demerit points?

    I have read the other posts and gather that if police were to arrive on scene, then they would have to charge the person by law, but I still personally believe that this is quite unfair. As my mate had described it, kicking someone when they're down. Being unable to work for over a month, and still paying weekly and monthly for expenses, this fine does take a toll.
    From the other post, I have seen that people are recommending to see a traffic lawyer like 'Mark Stenberg & Associates' if I were to contest this fine, preferably by letter of appeal rather than in court. Is it worth the fight and are my chances of winning the case high?

    Any OP with experience with the matter or knowledge in this area that would like to share would help me out immensely. My apologies for the long read.
  2. Welcome to Netrider, sounds like generally a shitty experience and I'm glad you got away form it mostly unharmed.

    Negligent Driving charges for cases like this are honestly a low cashgrab, couple of years ago I was following a rider who slipped over wet trams and hit the deck hard. Before he even picked up his bike an oncoming cop spotted it and started writing him a ticket. Consider it a callout fee for the cops and for them doing paperwork. I'd personally contest it with a letter however leave it at that, if you take it to court your playing a big gamble.
    As for the ambulance it was likely classed as low priority due to it being lowspeed and the fact you were still breathing which they have no obligation to put other peoples lives at risk over by running red lights or speeding, At one concert I was part of a dancer tripped over and broke a leg with it taking 2 hours for the ambulance to arrive with her still onstage! If you ever want a ambulance to rock up fast then reinforce that the rider fell off at high speed and is having trouble breathing.

    If your having trouble paying then call them up and ask to be put on a payment plan. I'd also advice getting legal advice (even free) to see if its worth claiming on thirdparty (CTP) insurance to cover medical expenses.
    Can't talk about NSW but in Vic an argument of no witness's wouldn't hold up as it was very clear you crashed.

    As bad as this sounds the first thing you do in a crash where the rider is OK and can limp away is to drag the bike off the road out of sight, pickup the pieces and get traffic flowing again.... If the cops showup act dumb
    I had a somewhat spectacular crash as a learner and ended up taking a taxi to the hospital due to it being faster!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Hello Nicholai,
    Thank you very much for your input!
    Although I wish I was unharmed. What I forgot to mention though, at the hospital the doctors and nurses didn't know what was wrong with my leg because it was too swollen, that only 2 weeks after numerous xrays, ultrascans, ct scans, and ultrasounds, they found that I had done quite a bit of damage to my left knee. Torn ACL, torn meniscus, and torn MCL. So I needed surgery done and now a long time in a brace and about a year of physio.
    I guess it is just bad luck then in regards to the police, but I will be sure to look towards legal advice as you had recommended so that I can write a worthy letter of appeal as court would be too costly and risky, and to see if I am still eligible to claim, though i'm quite certain I cannot as the form (Accident Notification Form) clearly states must be completed within 28 days of the accident, but its still worth a shot.
    Also now that you mention it, I kind of understand the concept of the ambulance not rushing to my accident. I hope that your dancer friend is well and good today!

    I guess that is the case, but having to pick yourself up is the last thing you want to do if your injured, if it was a low side its understandable. More so riders need a little more respect considering that we are less protected.

    Wow hahaha, I was mentioning that to the people that stopped past to help me, that I could order an uber and I would get to the hospital in an instant and it would also be cheaper
  4. You hit a tree at 60km/h trying to overtake a car before a corner, on a damp/wet road surface...
    Pretty negligent id say!

    Here's the real, simplified version;

    You made a decision to ride your bike like an idiot, and you fcuked up resulting in a stack - the end.

    No magistrate in the land will dismiss the matter if they were to be told the story as written above.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. TWEET “You hit a tree at 60km/h trying to overtake a car before a corner, on a damp/wet road surface...
    Pretty negligent id say!”

    I understand that I was somewhat negligent being tired, however you misunderstood what happened. I was trying to overtake on the straight road before the corner, but I realised I couldnt before the corner so I slowed down. But just didnt slow down fast enough as I approached the corner and im not going to break during the turn.

    “You made a decision to ride your bike like an idiot, and you fcuked up resulting in a stack - the end.”

    I realise that I was not riding to the best of my ability, especially due to the severity of my now injuries, however it was not entirely my fault (weather) and I believe that I would have a case if I did wish to appeal. Being a learner and riding safely under the guidelines and taking into consideration the road conditions. It was merely a rookie error.

    Thank you TWEET for your input.
  6. Mate you were clearly negligent, you were riding too fast for your skill level and you crashed.

    Also there is a volume of case law that says learners are held to the same standard as every other driver (the best authority being the High Court see: Imbree v McNeilly [2008] HCA 40), being a learner isn't an excuse. As for riding 'safely under the guidelines', you crashed you weren't riding safely. Are you trying to suggest because you weren't speeding or something, you weren't negligent? As for taking road conditions into account, you weren't the road was wet and there was a curve.

    If you have no record try for a s10, you are incredibly unlikely to win if you go to a hearing, thats probably your best shot at making it go away.

    I'd suggest owning up to the fact that you screwed up, remember bikes are dangerous and next time you could be dead or permanently disabled. Recognise you screwed up and learn from it.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  7. Yes I will agree the Negligent Driving charges that NSW police apply as a matter of course are a cash grab. They do nothing further to prevent further occurrences, the injury lesson does much more. I don't think you have much chance of disputing the charge. Yes you need to start the process of making a claim on your insurance for medical expenses etc. As Nicholai said contact the fining authority and speak to them about a payment plan to lesson the cost up front.

    Re ambulance, they have strict guidelines on when they can use lights and sirens. Moving at speed with lights and sirens is inherently dangerous for the surrounding traffic and the ambulance staff so the incident they attend must warrant that extra danger. The emergency operator will make the decision on the severity of accident and advise the ambulance people appropriately. Your situation was not life threatening and so they would not have been authorised for lights and sirens.

    When reporting a bike accident there are a few things to remember for others who may need to do it one day. If the accident has occurred over 80km/h you should say so. The class of injury at those higher speeds is more severe and ambulances will be assigned a higher priority. Don't lie though to get bumped up the list, ambos are a finite resource.

    Sorry to hear you will have some ongoing medical complications from this accident. Hope you heal up well and get back on a bike.
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  8. Why didn't your friend stop or witness the crash.. since they were almost close enough to overtake..

    Neg driving charge, in this case and others like it, is reinforcing that you caused the crash, even though (or because) you think it was not your fault.

    Riding so bad that you crash on your own IS being negligent.. not responsible.. :p
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. hey scottyokajimascottyokajima sorry to hear about your accident and your injuries, you have had a terrible experience to be sure.

    I must say that I don't really disagree with any of the posts above, each of them are correct in their own way. it appears your main gripe is the $433 fine because it doesn't seem fair - I don't disagree but when we get licenced we accept the road rules and subsequent penalties. unfortunately it will cost you more to fight the fine, write the letter requesting lenience and see how it goes. in my opinion it seems you were at fault here so protesting will probably do little. pay the fine and move on.

    you said you read the definition of the charge and didn't believe it applied to you. I think it does:
    Negligent driving in NSW | Criminal legal

    "Drivers are often charged with 'Negligent Driving' when an accident occurs but the manner of driving is not sufficiently reckless or dangerous to press a more serious charge; such as 'drive recklessly' or 'dangerous driving'.

    The law states that a driver is 'Negligent' when he or she did not exercise the right amount of care and attention which would be reasonably expected from a driver in the particular circumstances. A simple example is when a driver failed to pay sufficient attention to the road at the time or failed to comply to roads rules and an accident took place."
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  10. NSW police has made a point of charging the at fault driver in a traffic collision - even in single vehicle crashes which rubs salt in to the wound. Join the MCCofNSW and ask them for some advice.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. I agree with the general advice, you got yourself into trouble through your own fault and it is best for you to acknowledge that and move forward by learning from your mistakes. I do hope that your injuries will heal well and that you will be able to enjoy many years of accident free riding.
  12. What you've described fits the definition of negligent driving quite well. As for the Ambulance cost, you maybe covered by your CTP, depending on coverage, otherwise the bill is yours. Do you have private health insurance? If so surely it has ambulance cover.

    From a legal perspective, your screwed. From a personal responsibility perspective, own it, learn from it, don't do it again.

    Oh, here's a lesson for young players - make sure you have ambulance cover on your health insurance or at least as a separate coverage. Even a short trip can costs a few hundred dollars.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. By the way, a "fair 3m" following gap is not a fair gap at all unless you are consciously positioning yourself into a compressed following position for the purposes of an overtake - and even then, it's a short term compression of your safety space for improved visual assessment of an overtaking opportunity.

    Sorry dude, FWIW, IMHO, you will have to wear this.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  14. Us banana benders do have free ambulance service provided:
    Permanent Queensland residents are automatically covered for emergency pre-hospital ambulance treatment and transport Australia-wide.

    If you are a permanent Queensland resident and receive an invoice for ambulance treatment/transport provided to you or your child/dependant by another state or territory ambulance service, you are requested to forward the invoice to the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) for payment.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. Lucky bastards.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. As I read this accident report once more I can only say: I think you invented this story, because nobody could be so silly. You followed your mate at 3m gap at high speed ( since you still hit the tree at 60km/h; which is a severe enough impact to kill a rider). You say he was slowing down, but he obviously didn't. Then you decided to overtake in the corner (why?????) and lost it. You did everything wrong that could be done wrong. And even after your crash you are only talking about what other people should have done, done faster and done free of charge to help you. If your story is true, have a good look in the mirror and you will see the only one at fault. I can't even feel sorry for you anymore!
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. #17 Named, Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
    Your attitude is negligent because you are trying to mitigate your responsibility. With regard to your responsibility (for yourself), weather is not a mitigating factor. Traffic is not a mitigating factor. Tiredness is not a mitigating factor. You are supposed to ride to the relevant conditions. They are supposed to be factors in your risk assessment, based on which you make decisions. Nothing you have described mitigates your responsibility/fault.

    In the conditions you described, I would not have attempted to overtake, whether the road was straight or not. If you are coming up to a corner, just prepare yourself to turn the corner. Why overtake? What was the urgency, especially when you are tired and the roads are wet? You weren't en route to a dying family member, right?

    If you want to become a better rider, you need to accept your responsibility in every single situation.. Even when it's clearly some other person's "fault", in a legal sense, what could the rider have done to avoid that at-fault driver? Could you have avoided the accident by paying closer attention and maintaining a safer road position?

    We don't control our circumstances, like weather or the actions of other road users. But we can control our exposure to those risks and our reaction to hazards.

    I think it's really disappointing that the police chose to fine you for this minor negligence on your part. I think being injured and damaging your ride is punishment enough in these circumstances. However, it's entirely up to the police to exercise this discretion. That's your misfortune here. But you were entirely at fault for what happened, by your own telling of events.

    I would strongly urge you to accept your responsiblity otherwise this will be a wasted opportunity to learn something very important.
    • Agree Agree x 4
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  18. How was this NOT YOUR FAULT? YOU didn't SLOW down enough. YOU weren't paying sufficient attention to what was going on around you. YOU didn't ride to the conditions. YOU HAVE NO CASE. Suck it up princess. YOUR fault. Learn from it, or you'll simply repeat the same mistakes again.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. I am sure all the posts above are already making you feel bad.

    Just be glad you are here to type this post.

    If you want to ride a long time I would just take a simple approach.
    If you ever feel like doing something you might regret later then just don't do it.
    You get better at risk analysis as you get older but don't be paralysed with fear either.

    Just don't be a typical youngun taking unnecessary risks.

    Remember old and bold don't go together for a rider. Choose one or the other.

    Hope the rest of your riding journey is less dramatic.
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