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QLD Car Accident - "Follow Vehicle Too Close" but No Evidence

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Breakfree5, 5 May 2015.

  1. Breakfree5

    Breakfree5 Member

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    Hi, I recently had a car accident that resulted in receiving a Traffic Infringement Notice for "Follow vehicle too close".

    Outline of the incident: I was driving on the Gateway Motorway, travelling approximately 60km/h, was about to crest a small bridge/hill where I know the traffic slows down/stops, so I had taken my foot off the accelerator and had my foot ready to use the brakes. Then, I sneezed - when I recovered from the sneeze the large stopping distance that I had allowed for was reduced to 10 metres and I was still doing 60km/h. Thus, I plowed my car into the now stationary car in front of me.
    There were no immediate injuries at first. Then the Ambulance showed up, the driver of the car I had hit was not feeling well and was taken by the Ambulance. Next, the police showed up, where I was informed that I would "probably be charged" for following too close and I would be interviewed further by the young Officer.

    I waited weeks, no interview came up. I landed a phone call from the Police Officer telling me that he was going to charge me for this offence. I asked how he can do that with no evidence and no witness of me supposedly following too closely. He informed me that "from the information available to me, I am of the opinion that the issuing of infringement notice is appropriate in this circumstance".
    With no witnesses, and I doubt severely that the poor bugger I hit could see anything other than my car hitting his, how can I be charged? I am a careful driver that never follows closely, which hurts a lot. I want to fight this offence, is it worth trying?

    Kindest Regards.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Only you can answer that question.

    Wait till the infringement arrives so you know exactly what they are charging you with. Based on your description, you do have a valid defence.

    To pluck part of quote from an esteemed member that sits behind a bench ".... the mere happening of an accident does not give rise to an inference of driving without due care."
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    The evidence that you were following too closely is the damage caused to the other driver's car when you ran into it. What evidence do you have to refute the infringement?
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Causing an accident, by itself, does not prove guilt. The onus is still on the prosecution to prove guilt. If you intend to fight the charge, remember what you said to the police and write up your notes now before you forget important details. The police may well use your words against you, leaving out key bits that don't fit their version of the event. The police may also have independent witness statements saying they saw you too close to the vehicle in front.

    Chances are though that in a case like this, without independent witnesses, it comes down to whether or not the magistrate believes you are a credible person.

    Hopefully the other driver is OK, whiplash can cause severe discomfort and also permanent injury that is not always obvious at the time of the accident. I know the discomfort part from personal experience :( I'm fortunate none of the hits in the back of my car (5 - so far) were at fast speeds.
     

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