“DOORING infringements in Melbourne have plunged more than 20 per cent in the past year, according to Victoria Police.
Police issued 149 infringement notices for dooring in 2011-12, down from 187 in the previous financial year. It is the lowest figure since 2007-08 when 119 fines were issued.”
Now, this is a quite extraordinary claim. To quote infringement figures as proof of a drop in behaviour is seriously flawed and incorrectly assumes there is no disconnect between occurrence and enforcement.
I will illustrate this through my experience in April when I was doored while riding in a bike lane. I smashed my helmet, lost a bunch of skin and did $2600 of damage to my bike.
Off I went to the police, thinking I was armed with everything I needed – all the details of the incident, the driver’s name and address, two independent witnesses and a quote for the damage.
The duty officer at St Kilda Police Station stared at me blankley and said “it’s not necessarily an offence – you were probably partially to blame”. He also said that unless I had been taken off in an ambulance or the police attended the scene, he was unable to even fill in a police report for my insurance claim.
I then tried Sandringham Police station and was told “they wouldn’t usually pursue this types of incident” and that they couldn’t help me.
The TAC were the same – unless I was hospitalised, they couldn’t even record the incident on their database.
I acknowledge that my N=1 story may not represent the experience of the wider community – but if I were a betting man, I’d say these new figures are not indicative of what is occurring on our roads.