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Surely this can’t possibly work?

johnboy 12 November 2008 42

I went out to the Stromlo Forest Park this morning to have a look at what they’ve done out there. It’s a very extensive community facility and, when the trees grow will probably be very beautiful.

Being the sort who likes to read plaques I was curious about the tiny writing on the pillar in the middle of the entry round-a-bout. Some sort of un-important dedication perhaps?

Well no… It’s a rather hopeful attempt to shield the ACT Government from liability when people grievously injure themselves bouncing over rocks.

By this token can I bind passing drivers to mow my lawn with well placed small print?

I did, however, like the way the hospital is clearly signposted on the roads leading away from the park.

Closeup of the sign below.

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42 Responses to Surely this can’t possibly work?
Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:17 am 19 Nov 08

All you need to do is throw a 50g bird at their faceplate…

justbands justbands 9:56 am 19 Nov 08

Like I said before…I’d be quite prepared to throw rocks at morons riding motorcycles around that facility. I’m guessing crashing at that speed could be quite painful. If they’re lucky, I’ll call them an ambulance.

Tracker Tracker 9:53 am 19 Nov 08

100 miles per hour? So like 160km/hr?

Shhiiiiit! That’s cooking, esp. for a car over that distance. I have it on good authority a motorcycle can hit a similar figure (little bit quicker), but I didn’t think a car would get that close.

justbands justbands 11:03 am 13 Nov 08

> I have it on good authority that a large red Honda can do 100 miles/hr on the criterion straight.

Damn, that’s fast. It’s going to have to be a good throw if I’m to hit that idiot with a rock.

Kramer Kramer 11:01 am 13 Nov 08

As stated above this same disclaimer appears a several points around SFP – trail heads, top of DH course, and top of the 4x course.

The sooner we get public liability issues sorted (and run the ambulance chasing lawers out of town) the better. SFP is a great place to get out, although they are currently hamstrung from building bigger and more dangerous trails (which is what many in the MTB community want) due to this issue. So the ACT Govt (or is this a Federal issue?) should follow they public liabilty model they have in NZ, and we can all get on with LIVING life – except the aforementioned ambulance chasers.

mdme workalot mdme workalot 9:15 am 13 Nov 08

Agreed with circusmind.

The signs are completely irrelevant under contract law, as there is no offer and acceptance. The only importance one can place on the signs is in risk mitigation under tort law. As circusmind pointed out, risk mitigation has only recently been included in consideration for liability under breach of duty of care and negligence cases in Australia. The best example is Romeo v Conservation Commission of NT(1998) HCA for those that could be arsed exploring it further.

@Igglepiggle – LOL!

V twin venom V twin venom 9:07 am 13 Nov 08

” Does that include motorsport?

It’s a cycling (& running) venue, what’s it got to do with motorsport?

You’ll get trail bikes there for sure, guaranteed. They’ve just destroyed the gate leading into the Cuunbeun nature reserve AGAIN so they can get their trail bikes in more easily; they’ll love this stromolo facility.

Not out there they won’t.”

I have it on good authority that a large red Honda can do 100 miles/hr on the criterion straight.

GB GB 10:01 pm 12 Nov 08

Ambulance chasing lawyers are the nanny state. We allow the laws that allow them to exist. We have the power to stop them.

cranky cranky 9:47 pm 12 Nov 08

So is there a magic number of signs that absolve the ACT Gov from any responsibility?

Self preservation should be the universal mantra.

Only gross incompetence by a facility provider should be countenanced for legal redress.

Aeek Aeek 9:36 pm 12 Nov 08

Nanny state? Disagree. They’re more a reaction to ambulance chasing lawyers.

Tracker Tracker 9:31 pm 12 Nov 08

The same thing is written on most, if not all signs in the park. I haven’t checked them all, but it seems to be around a fair bit. I’ve never read it, mind you.

Seems stupid to have it there, but meh.

Aeek Aeek 9:26 pm 12 Nov 08

The legal position is a lot stronger than if there were no signs.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:05 pm 12 Nov 08

Signs like this do nothing more than demonstrate that we live in a nanny state.

jakez jakez 8:22 pm 12 Nov 08

From the looks of it, that doesn’t even come close to being adequate from a legal standpoint.

circusmind circusmind 7:40 pm 12 Nov 08

GB said :

Why should the government have to warn people that its their own lookout if they fall over?

They don’t. Sign or no sign, anyone suing the government here would have to show that the government was negligent. Recent law reform work has tended to emphasize that you don’t have to warn people about dangers that are bleedingly obvious or inherent in the sort of activity being engaged in. I’m not sure about the exact situation at statute in the ACT, but that’s certainly the case in NSW.

I-filed I-filed 7:37 pm 12 Nov 08

Um where’s the footpath to stand on while you’re reading it?

GB GB 7:34 pm 12 Nov 08

So, we should change the law.

harvyk1 said :

It would in no way be enforcable.

For goodness sake — its important to figure out what the current legal situation is (and thanks to the legal folks who write in); but surely more important to identify how we should change it? Why should the government have to warn people that its their own lookout if they fall over?

Introduce public injury insurance, get rid of ridiculous payouts and ridiculous court cases.

Or else put up signs everywhere saying “if you trip over and hurt your toe, make sure and tell us because you might be in line for a few hundred thousand.”

shiny flu shiny flu 7:33 pm 12 Nov 08

Just to point something quite basic out:

Most cyclists and runners understand that injury is a part of their sport. Racing road criteriums means crashing is normal. Riding a MTB anywhere means crashing is inevitable. Running around means a sprained ankle is normal. Horse riders know that they’re riding an animal that can buck if it’s scared. I guess there are a few ‘gucci’ posers who buy the best because they’re compensating (not because they need it) and would sue if they got a scratch… but thankfully it hasn’t come up yet.

Although it seems the greatest risk is with the MTB trails. However good design means that at the start of each trail, it gives the rider a taste of what’s to come further down. Basically it gives you the chance to try out a tiny sampler of the trail’s difficulty and turn around if you’re not comfortable. It’s a normal standard for trail builing (endorsed by the International Mountain Biking Association-IMBA) and has been proven to work well.

PS: Moto’s have many other places to ride, since Stromlo is used so often and so safely gaurded someone would have to be very very very unintelligent to try riding a Moto there.

harvyk1 harvyk1 7:21 pm 12 Nov 08

It would in no way be enforcable. For anything to be enforceable a person needs to do an obvious action which indicates they have read and agreed to a contract or agreement. Simply having a sign (no matter how big) does not cut it. If there was a park entry booth for example, where you had to pay money, then by virtue of paying money it would indicate you agree to be bound by those terms. By simply driving past a sign, one which no reasonable person could read without being a danger to other road uses is completely meaningless.

circusmind circusmind 6:25 pm 12 Nov 08


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