Help banish bad drivers

Bike riders are some of the most observant people on our roads and not much escapes our attention, especially if it is the sort of driving that put lives at risk.

Riders who mix it in peak commuter traffic each day have a long list of incidents to recount at the end of a typical week.

But what do we do about it?

Not much usually: we are busy, in a hurry, it's too hard, and even if you’ve made it to the police station with all the details, the officers are likely dealing with more serious emergencies than someone you've just photographed teaching their corgi to steer a car.

But don’t despair. There is something you can do about it and more riders should be making use of this trick because it really does work.

File a report with Crime Stoppers, the nation-wide community organisation that specialises in gathering information on the bad guys and funnelling it to law enforcement.

Crime Stoppers just doesn’t take your anonymous report, it works out where best to file it so you don’t get the run around.

And one of the best things for bike riders is that it accepts photos and videos through the on-line reporting site. This way they definitely get in front of the police.

Crime Stoppers is actually a charity that enables people in the community to contribute to safety and security by submitting information that could lead to the apprehension of offenders.

A branch exists in every state where they are closely tied in with the relevant law enforcement agencies.

You provide crime information to Crime Stoppers, either online or over the phone (1800 333 000). 

Each state has a web interface to handle reports from each state.

Crime Stoppers staff take your information and prepare a report, making sure to remove any personal information that could identify you.

If the person making the tip has chosen to identify themselves and/or offer further assistance to investigators, police have to request these details from Crime Stoppers, it is not passed on with the tip.

The reporting interface is simple and works on a phone.

Crime Stoppers receives many reports and the data it gathers has proved a great help for police as they gather evidence needed to build cases against offenders, including the drivers who are a risk to other road users.

One drawback is that you have no way of following up or finding out how or if your information was used. It is planned this way to always ensure that the identity of those providing information can be protected.

Check out your state's Crime Stoppers site and click through to the “report" page to see how it works.

And check the YouTube video that shows you how to most effectively submit reports. The Victorian channel, for example, is here.

Crime Stoppers also operates in 11 languages other than English.

And remember Crime Stoppers is unable to offer emergency response services or assist victims of crime.

The website has many helpful hints, including tips in preventing bike theft. Here is the Victorian example.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.