Court case on negligent driving wrt cyclists, and grevious bodily harm

In light of a recent thread, and apropos of random browsing on the riotact leading to skimming through the ACT Magistrates’ Court decisions, I came across this case:

Dixon v Middleby-Clements | A.C.T Magistrates Court

In it, a magistrate examines whether a driver was 1) negligent and 2) caused GBH when she hit a cyclist. The magistrate examined some of the ACT specific case law and legislation. Worth a read if you want to learn more about this sort of thing.

Some choice paragraphs:

  1.            On 11 March 2009 the cyclist, who at the time was 37, was riding his bicycle home from his work at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He was travelling in a northerly direction in the left hand lane of Limestone Avenue in Reid. He was wearing a high visibility top and a bright yellow bike helmet. The weather was fine. Limestone Avenue in this area runs predominantly north/south. It has two lanes in each direction, separated by a raised grass median. The south bound lanes are raised above the north bound lanes. The speed limit is 60 kilometres an hour.


  1.          This is not an accident for which there is no explanation. One does not have to speculate about what occurred. The explanation given by the defendant to the cyclist at the time – “I’m so sorry I didn’t see you” – is the reason for the collision. Quite simply the defendant did not keep a proper lookout. She was at a stop sign, and the cyclist travelling towards her was wearing high visibility clothing. There is no suggestion that the defendant’s view was obstructed and the cyclist must have been considerably ahead of any other traffic coming towards the defendant as there is no suggestion from any witness that other cars travelling behind the cyclist had to brake suddenly to avoid the Barina. This failure to keep a proper lookout for oncoming traffic was compounded by the defendant driving a car with which she was not very familiar and which, therefore required her to use even more caution before she attempted to move across a break in peak hour traffic.


CC the OPP too

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It seems some of the principles of that case may possibly be able to be applied in Victoria under Crimes Act 1958 - SECT 318 VIC.
IMHO the driver should have at least been charged even if they were not pushed through the courts. It also appears she may have committed perjury…

I like the how the Dutch teach car users to open the car door with the opposite arm, forcing a turning of the body and head so at least a cyclist may be seen in their peripheral vision.

What was the final conviction, does anyone know? The most I got out of that was maximum 1 year imprisonment, but I doubt it’d even be that.
Convictions should help the life you almost, out of negligence, killed. She should be his nanny for a year instead of spending time behind bars twiddling her thumbs.