Police: Piss me off – you’re screwed, seriously injure a motorcyclist – no problem

A man was recently charged with careless driving, after he cut off the acting police minister, while talking on his mobile. Good-o, I say, this is the sort of thing that needs to be enforced.

However, here I sit, four months after being hit by a car performing an illegal u-turn, with probably at least another three months before I go back to work, wondering why it is that a driver who was 100% at fault and caused serious injury, gets a slap on the wrist, in the form of an infringement for performing an illegal u-turn (the same as if you did a dodgy u-turn at a set of traffic lights and didn’t cause an accident). Not even “failing to give way while performing a u-turn”, let alone Dangerous Driving Causing Grievous Bodily Harm, which is the charge that fits.

What this goes to show me is that if you piss off a police officer, you are fucked. But if you do something wrong that is a bit hard to prove (or you do it to a minority group that the police assume are guilty until proven innocent – such as motorcyclists) then you get off scott free.

Is it any wonder that Traffic Police are hated, let alone not respected?

From http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/01/2806594.htm

Nermin Hodzic leaves Brisbane's Magistrates Court after being fined $500.
Nermin Hodzic leaves Brisbane’s Magistrates Court after being fined $500. (ABC News: Jason Rawlins)
A man has appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged over a traffic incident involving one of Queensland’s most senior police officers.

The court heard Nermin Hodzic, 22, from Calamvale on Brisbane’s southside, was driving north on the Gateway Motorway early last month when he weaved in and out of traffic while talking on a mobile phone.

Hodzic narrowly missed a car driven by Acting Police Commissioner Kathy Rynders who was off duty at the time.

She was forced to break heavily to avoid a collision, which in turn forced motorists behind her to also break hard.

After several attempts she managed to intercept Hodzic and he was charged with careless driving and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Hodzic was fined $500 and convictions were recorded.

Obtaining Queensland Police Reports

If you’re in a motor vehicle accident and wish to obtain a copy of the Queensland Police investigation documents (for example, if you are fucked over by the police) there seem to be two ways to go about getting a copy:

If you speak to police officers, it seems that the official method for access to your report is via CITEC. This costs (as at 2010-01-20) $70.70, and only actually provides you with a copy of the textual body of the report. Any attached documents, photos, scanned notes, drawings, or even statements which have been attached, rather than included are not part of the CITEC report, nor or they held by CITEC at all. The “Other Documents” mentioned in the CITEC Confirm application won’t get you these either – apparently it is for things like blood alcohol reading documents and other such things. As mentioned before, the police don’t actually transfer anything but the textual document to CITEC.

The other way, which I found out after I’d gotten a CITEC report and wondered where the hell all the information was, is to request a copy of all documents via the Queensland Government’s Right To Information (RTI) Act. This is a recent replacement of the Freedom of Information Act, and seems to work in a similar manner. A RTI request costs (as at 2010-01-20) $38 (unless the documents only contain personal information about you – probably not the case if it is a motor vehicle accident), and you can request copies of all relevant documents, not just textual information which is sent to CITEC.

I’m still waiting on my RTI request, but at this point I would say don’t even bother with a CITEC confirm report and go straight to a RTI request. It is much cheaper, and the CITEC confirm report is woefully inadequate in this sort of case.