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How to Report an Accident

HOW CAN YOU HELP WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT AN ACCIDENT?

If you are one of the first people on the scene where a cyclist has been injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, this is what you can do.

STAY CALM AND CALL 10111 FOR ASSISTANCE

Co-operate fully with the police and the medics when they get there. Do not be aggressive or antagonistic toward the driver or anyone else at the scene. Instead, focus your attention on the accident.

SECURE THE AREA

Before the authorities arrive, you can assist by making sure the area around the injured person is secure and safe from other traffic. If you are in a car, and if it is safe to do so, put on your hazard lights on and position it in a way that may shield the accident scene and make other traffic aware that there is an emergency.

DO NOT MOVE THE INJURED PERSON

You won’t know the full extend of their injuries and moving them could make things far worse for the victim.

TAKE IMAGES AND VIDEOS OF THE ACCIDENT SCENE

The motor vehicle and the driver

Any any scratch, scrape, and tyre marks on the road or Armco

Any debris lying around that may be related to the incident

The driver’s licence and the vehicle licence plate and licence disc

The damaged bicycle and injured rider

The scene of the accident, from all angles and the surrounding area

GET AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE

A description and the number plates of all vehicles involved in the incident

The drivers’ names and identity numbers, addresses and telephone numbers

The date, times and address of the collision

The names, identity numbers, addresses and phone numbers of all potential witnesses

ASK FOR WITNESSES

Don’t be shy, ask out aloud! This is a key part of a building any criminal case if there has been negligence. If people do come forward, record their names and contact details (use the voice- or video-recording function on your phone).

LOOK FOR SECURITY CAMERAS

Look around the area for security video cameras – these day’s there are security cameras everywhere. Take pictures that will show where the cameras are. Having access to footage on these cameras will naturally be very useful to both the police and any legal team the victim may employ in the future.

CHECK IF ALCOHOL IS INVOLVED?

If you suspect the driver may be intoxicated, simply and respectfully point this out to the police officers at the scene. They will now know that you and other witnesses on the scene are aware of this. It will put pressure on the police to do alcohol testing. It does mean extra work for them and they may be resistant to doing so.

HOW TO REPORT AN ACCIDENT?

REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO:

The police (unless the police made a report at the scene). Make sure that you get the case number from the police as well as the name of the officer to whom the accident is reported.

Western Cape authorities at http://safelyhome.westerncape.gov.za/reporter

Email PPA: liz@pedalpower.org.za

IMPORTANCE OF REPORTING AN ACCIDENT:

We cannot stress how important it is to ensure that all cycling accidents/incidents are reported to the police

Insurers will often require a report before they will pay out

Police statistics and action are also entirely dependent on accidents being reported

Subsequent prosecution is heavily reliant on police investigation

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THE DRIVER WAS WRONGFUL OR NEGLIGENT?

Failing to obey the 1m passing distance law

Driving at an excessive speed or in excess of the speed limit

Failing to keep a proper look-out Failing to keep the vehicle under proper control

Drinking and driving

Using their cell phones whilst driving

Cutting across your path of travel at an inopportune moment

Failing to stop at a stop sign or, when facing a red traffic light

Failing to yield to oncoming traffic

Colliding with you from behind

Opening a door of a stationary motor vehicle at an inopportune moment

A bicycle is regarded as a vehicle in the eyes of the law. Bicycles are therefore subject to all road rules and regulations, including stopping at stop streets and red lights. You may not cycle on a freeway.

LEGISLATION: WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL ROAD TRAFFIC ADMINISTRATION ACT, 2012 (ACT 6 OF 2012): SAFETY OF CYCLISTS REGULATIONS, 2013