A scooter rider is demanding compensation and an apology from SA Police after an officer’s reckless and illegal driving caused him to crash and sustain injury.
As seen in the video above, Daniel Daw, 25, was riding his scooter along Halifax Street in the Adelaide CBD when a police patrol car suddenly pulled out from the kerb.
The unnamed officer’s sudden U-turn was illegal, as he failed to indicate and also crossed an unbroken white line. The video footage also shows that, after emerging from a side street, the police vehicle proceeded in a lane reserved solely for bicycles before performing the U-turn.
Although Daniel desperately braked, he couldn’t stop in time and hit the side of the police car, which sent him flying onto the road.
The accident, which occurred last Thursday 25 March 2021, has left Daniel with muscle damage to his shoulder.
After getting out of his car, the police officer tried to shift the blame for the crash onto Daniel. Daniel said the first thing the officer said to him was “Didn’t you see an indicator?”
The video clearly shows the police vehicle was not indicating to turn right.
The cop’s behaviour was in keeping with the long-held, Australia-wide police practice of blaming victims in order to evade culpability for problems created by police officers.
“That (a police officer) is one of the least people you’d expect to do that to you,” Daniel said.
“Police officers should actually look out for oncoming traffic,” said Daniel. “Everyone should.”
Daniel has been unable to work since the accident, and expects to be out of work for a few more weeks while he nurses a damaged shoulder.
“Constant pain in my shoulder. Can’t really lift anything heavy with my left arm,” he said.
This is a big problem for Daniel, as his job involves physical work – he is a powder coating labourer. He is also a casual worker, which means he isn’t entitled to sick pay. Unlike police and government workers who still receive full salaries while suspended and under investigation for malfeasance, civilian casual employees who can’t work through no fault of their own simply don’t get paid.
Compounding Daniel’s woes, his scooter was not insured and he says it received around $1,000 in damage.
Daniel is hoping for some kind of compensation.
“It was an illegal U-turn,” he added.
“Because there was double solid white lines in the middle of the road, so you’re not meant to pass them anyway … And 50 metres up the road he could have performed a legal U-turn.”
In a statement to 7NEWS, SA Police said the incident had sparked an internal review. As anyone who has ever lodged a complaint with SAPOL can attest, this is code for “we will whitewash this to the very best of our abilities and the officer involved will suffer no consequences”.