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Walkway menace

By Phemie - 11 July 2010 47

We have a walkway beside our house.  It is used by push bikes, walkers, joggers, dog walkers and kids going to the primary school one way and the high school the other way.  It is also used as a secluded place to chat or skateboard by the local adolescents.  However, recently drivers of four wheel drive vehicles have started using it as a short cut or an opportunity to demonstrate their prowess at the wheel.

It is not easy to get through the narrow walk way and avoid the treated pine bollards, the lamppost, the electricity box and overhanging trees and other vegetation.  If the  complication of a not very athletic dog walker is added to the challenge; I do not think that the errant four wheel drive handler will be able to avoid a collision and I am certain that the dog walker will have no options to get out of the way.

I suppose that there are some positives.  A clean Canberra city four wheel drive vehicle will be able to get some off road experience and some dirt and terrified Shih tzu under its wheels.  The noisy socializing of adolescents will no longer be a feature of the walk way and reluctant joggers have a valid reason to avoid exercising due to the high risk of injury.  However, I am not happy as I have to cross the walk way to put out my wheelie bins and one time the wheelie bin and I nearly went flying.

How can I prevent this menace?  A phone call to TAMS resulted in the information that they could not limit the access of the grass cutter and nothing could be done.  Is it illegal to use walk ways as roads?  Can I ask for  a zebra crossing so that I can safely put out the garbage? What about a school zone speed limit for the school kids and an aged sign for the elderly dog walkers?  Come on Canberra, we used to be a caring community.  Stop this pointless inconsiderate practice and drive your vehicles on the road.

What’s Your opinion?


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47 Responses to
Walkway menace
bd84 12:49 pm 12 Jul 10

It is beneficial to make the complaint in writing by email through the TAMS website as the complaint will be forwarded to the correct area and they will also provide you with a written response as opposed to describing it over the phone and getting bounced around to get an untraceable verbal response.

On the subject of the 4wd driving on the footpath and causing an accident resulting in injury, the same laws apply as if it happened on the road. The police must attend all vehicle accidents that result in injury, the driver also must be fully licensed and his vehicle registered & CTP insured. The driver would need to provide you with his details for insurance purposes.

Sgt.Bungers 12:32 pm 12 Jul 10

It is illegal under Australian Road Rule 288. It is likely to be illegal here unless the ACT Gov has an exception to the law as outlined in subrule C.

Get the numberplate, report the issue to crime stoppers online. If you believe the driver is also driving in a manner that is dangerous (ie: a speed that is anything over walking pace given it is a path) make sure you mention that as well.

288 Driving on a path
(1) A driver (except the rider of a bicycle) must not drive on a path, unless subrule (2) or (3) applies to the driver.
Offence provision.

(2) A driver may drive on a path if the driver is:

(a) driving on a part of the path indicated by information on or with a traffic control device as a part where vehicles may drive; or

(b) driving on the path to enter or leave, by the shortest practicable route, a road-related area or adjacent land and there is not a part of the path indicated by information on or with a traffic control device as a part where vehicles may drive; or

(c) permitted to drive on the path under another law of this jurisdiction.

niftydog 12:16 pm 12 Jul 10

Just what we were told – it comes down to your word against theirs in a civil action. If ambos were called or cops attended it could be a criminal investigation.

p1 12:00 pm 12 Jul 10

niftydog said :

Mrs Nifty was knocked off her bike by a 4WD…

Consequences:
The Driver; none (cops did not attend and could not do much after the fact, collision not on a public road, not a vehicular collision, no damage to his vehicle.)
Mrs Nifty; one broken leg, a lot of pain to deal with every day, months of rehab ahead, insurance claims, time off work, unable to drive, busted bike etc etc.

How is this not a vehicular collision?

Cops are supposed to attend to any accident in which a person it hurt. If the driver left before they attended they surely could be charged with leaving the scene?

….collision not on a public road….

Try driving around on the foot path in an unregistered vehicle for a while and tell the cops they can’t do anything…

niftydog 11:46 am 12 Jul 10

Mrs Nifty was knocked off her bike by a 4WD whilst riding on a footpath just three weeks ago. The driver seemed to have removed an obstruction at the end of a cul de sac and was driving around to the rear of his house to drop firewood. He was going too fast to avoid the collision as he rounded a blind corner.

Consequences:
The Driver; none (cops did not attend and could not do much after the fact, collision not on a public road, not a vehicular collision, no damage to his vehicle.)
Mrs Nifty; one broken leg, a lot of pain to deal with every day, months of rehab ahead, insurance claims, time off work, unable to drive, busted bike etc etc.

I contacted TAMS as I have had some success with similar requests in the past. Time will tell.

Last year after I reported witnessing a driver taking a pedestrian underpass as a shortcut they reassessed the area and installed a “vehicular restriction”. This all happened quite quickly, possibly in less than three months which is lightning fast for local government. Though coincidentally they were installing barriers in the area at the time, so perhaps it was just convenient. They made several phone calls to inform me of progress and I was frankly staggered at the excellent response I got.

p1 11:45 am 12 Jul 10

Park your car across the entrance in such a way as to allow pedestrian access but prevent cars,

or

Spike strips.

Pommy bastard 11:36 am 12 Jul 10

Ah yes, lets get the taxpayer to fork out for a barrier and locks, and inconvenience everyone.

A more simple solution is to log a few complaints to the police, then lob a brick through the offenders windscreen.

That makes the police turn up ever so fast.

caf 10:47 am 12 Jul 10

And here I was thinking that “cars go on the road, not the footpath” was a concept that didn’t really need emphasis.

hellspice 10:42 am 12 Jul 10

I would have thought that TAMS may investigate putting a barrier at one end like most other walkways in this situation therefore making unusable as a bypass yet still having access to it for mowing.
But i do own a 4×4 so where is it so i can have a turn 😉

Noezis 10:17 am 12 Jul 10

We have the same situation in our neighbourhood. There’s one yahoo using the children’s park as a recreational 4WD area and using the footpaths to create shortcuts across streets. The same idiot rides his dirt bike on the footpaths with his two young children of about 8 and 10, all riding without a helmet.

Does anyone have an idea of who you can complain too?
The police take too long to respond and in most cases don’t bother responding at all.

Thumper 10:17 am 12 Jul 10

It seems odd that it’s not possible to fix a barricade the mower can pass-through

Most people call these new fangled moving barricade things gates…

M0les 10:09 am 12 Jul 10

I find it irritating that some 4wd aficionados seem to think that the ability to go off road implies the right to drive through parks, nature-strips, median-strips and pedestrian walkways.

It seems odd that it’s not possible to fix a barricade the mower can pass-through and a land-barge can not (Yeah, I know they use large ride-ons, I just didn’t think they were THAT large). The lane near my place has a left/right pinch-bar arrangement in it. It gets mowed in two sections (about 6 months apart, it seems).

Here’s a not very well thought out option: Take a photo of them in the act and send it to plod?

Inappropriate 10:07 am 12 Jul 10

Call the boys in blue on 000 and report a crime in progress.

DeadlySchnauzer 9:56 am 12 Jul 10

What the hell TAMS? There is a thing called a removeable/lockable bollard for exactly this kind of situation (grass cutter is given the key). They cost a couple hundred bucks. Google “lockable bollard” and send the results to TAMS. Then contact your local pollie… they love this stuff.

gibbery 9:53 am 12 Jul 10

What do you expect TAMS to do?
Did you think about taking a number plate and reporting it to the police?
You’d be surprised how often it will be followed up with a knock on the offenders door.
Why not take a photo of the vehicle and present that to the police?

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