Pedestrians – the hidden menace!

I learnt a neat trick from the local paper a while back – make your title inflammatory and accusatory to get more hits*. Did it work? Now I must apologise to pedestrians, (which includes us all at some stage of our daily travel), as they get quite enough flack in Wellington as it is – them with their dangerous iPod-listening ways! How dare they cross the road?!?

Having said that, I’d like to share a tale of caution.

A friend who lives in London has asked us to share this post from London Cyclist. Tiva was the unfortunate victim of some flagrantly careless pedestrianing (careless use of feet?). A pedestrian stepped out in front of her causing injury to her and £150 worth of damage to her beautiful Brompton. She’s facing knee surgery and a years worth of visits to the physio. A rather unpleasant situation. What makes it worse, is that the pedestrian who hit her (yep, I’m comfortable saying that in this case, even if it seems odd that the more ‘vulnerable’ user is the ‘perpetrator’) gave false details. So Tiva has no way to get compensation for her injuries or damage to her bike. Not even an apology. The whole situation stinks.

CCTV from the incident [source: London Cyclist]
CCTV from the incident SOURCE: London Cyclist

So, what should you do if something like this happens to you? Cycling in Wellington has a rather useful page with some advice. What I’ve been told is if someone is injured, (and I add: or something is damaged) or someone is behaving in a way that may lead to injury or damage – call 111. I’m sure the Police would rather turn up to a non-event than not turn up to something that has become serious – or in Tiva’s case, something you thought you had under control, but didn’t. Just remember that after the shock of being involved in a crash, you’re not likely to be thinking straight. Accept help, or if none is at hand – call for help.

Has anyone in NZ ever had experience claiming compensation from another party (or an insurance company) who has damaged their bike? Has anyone ever tried? If anyone has any tips or stories to share, please add comments below.

* There was a pedestrian vs bike incident recently in Wellington. From memory, I believe the original headline read something like “Cyclist hits child”, when the reality is that the pedestrian stepped out in front of the cyclist while holding the toddler. I wonder if that pedestrian has taken responsibility and paid for damages? Obviously the shock of causing injury to your own child is awful enough, but I do wonder if police in this country would ever lay charges against a pedestrian if the damage was severe enough?


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