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Exchanging details after accidents on piste - law or not?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I read Grizzler's two threads on the double ACL rupture from impact from behind - and sat down with Ant last night and heard a similar tale from their friends, but involving hit and run, and a complex multiple leg fracture. Grizzler managed to get details, Ant's friend did not. I have seen so many instances of people trying to leave the scene as quickly as possible, in order to avoid culpability. This is a crime in traffic law; some say it is law on the snow in Austria and CH but I can't find anything on it being anything other than a statement of FIS Code. But regulations are one thing, enforcement is another. How the hell do you tell the identity of someone in black skiing gear, a helmet and mirror spherical goggles, who gets up and skis off, having caused a bad injury?

I cast my mind back to a bad incident in CH when my son was hit from behind, and the guy tried to ski off, becoming very violent when one of his skis was 'impounded' - and I do mean very violent, well beyond 'arrestable'. He was forced to give details by the pisteur and repeatedly gave a false telephone number and address, having initially denied having a mobile phone (??!) and us saying 'what's that phone-shaped thing in your jacket then' - only on the third go did he give a number which made the thing ring. I think immediately photographing someone is important, but this has stimulated a very negative reaction, I understand from others.

There's still a notion that skiing is a 'free and easy, wild-west kind of sport' but actually I think that only applies to ski-mountaineering these days. Downhill requires people to depend on a whole loads of other people behaving as they should - lift companies, pisteurs - and so I think far stricter enforcement of behaviour after accident is necessary - piste skiing depends on good behaviour of all, in all respects, and self-regulated behaviour needs to improve a lot
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There's also the question of being composed enough to exchange details. I got hit at the start of the winter and while the guy who hit me did stop and was very apologetic I was too dazed to think about exchanging contact details and he didn't volunteer them. It was only when giving the police a statement at the end of the day did it occur to me that it would have been a good idea. Having a little mental checklist of what to do in case of a serious collision is no bad thing, such as carry EHIC card, insurance details, take a photo of the other person's ID if they have any, etc.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@valais2, hubby was hit from behind several years ago and his neck was broken. He ended up quite a distance down the piste from the other skier, so apart from the fact he was wearing jeans, we had nothing else to go on, as he skied off apparently uninjured. A ski instructor apparently asked as he passed if hubby was OK, but didn't stop either. When you buy a ski pass, I believe the FIS code is part of the terms and conditions. If it isn't, it should be. If you break those, it should be legally enforceable.
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@rob@rar, ...I think that's absolutely right, good checklist....and there's a weird human thing too in this; people in these settings can frequently be all nice and apologetic as long as they don't need to give anything away. The moment you ask for details the mood can change in an instant, and they can ski off promptly.

I wonder if a bit of education would help - ie at quieter times in resort, people from resort just doing 2-3 mins with people queueing at bottom station explaining obligations.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 1-04-17 10:46; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
A trainee of mine was hit by someone (while we were sitting at the top of a race course), she found that physiotherapy wasn't covered by her insurance so I would always try to get the other person's details now. The police at the time suggested not making a formal complaint as it would have meant returning to Italy for a court appearance.
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A little similar, this is what happened this season to someone I know, what do you think;

Icy narrow red, one skier had stopped in middle of piste, a collision occurred where said skier's pole was bent. He then wanted 30 euros from the skier who collided into him for damage to pole. Pay or don't pay?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@howiet, ....er... if I hurtled into someone and bent their pole (resisting all puns) I would indeed pay up. 30 euros is quite cheap for someone who is at the level of skiing icy narrowness - a set of Scott series 2 would be a lot more than that.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@valais2, hurtled no, skier fell on ice whilst trying to turn and slid into stationary skier who then fell on top, resulting somehow in a bent pole!
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@howiet, ...thanks for clarification...I think I'd pay up though, still the 'faller's' fault by the sound of it....
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rob@rar wrote:
There's also the question of being composed enough to exchange details. Having a little mental checklist of what to do in case of a serious collision is no bad thing, such as carry EHIC card, insurance details, take a photo of the other person's ID if they have any, etc.


Absolutely. I'm now with the benefit of hindsight realising how much more we could have done, photograph them, my landing position, their ID, the piste and conditions, etc etc - cept I didn't have a camera with me and didn't have a smartphone - but do now and will carry it in jacket pocket from now on.
Always carried passport, EHIC, insurance details & prescription anyway, in rucksack.

My view, sadly, is that we're all going to have to start wearing GoPros all the time (or body-mounted cameras etc). Happening already on the road.
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Good question, although the law is moot if you have no way to enforce it.

At a resort... I think then it depends if you're hit someone reasonable or a scumbag. Anyone reasonable pays their bills. I would volunteer my details should I ever hit anyone. Indeed, I have also handed over my business card when I'm a witness, as I think that's a civil thing to do, and I think it helps innocent victims when you do that. Irrespective of the accident "running away" looks like an admission of guilt; I'm not sure if it would be seen that way in law or not.

Ski pole: I'd offer to straighten it for them but I think that's unreasonable. I'd kind of like to charge the people who stand on the back of my board a few euros per scratch, but it's not going to work out, is it?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@philwig, good point - memo to self - write a robrar list, to keep in pocket, carry business cards.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Depends on the consequences of the accident. At Les Deux Alpes I fell and both skis unclipped when another skier collided with me from above. He was suitably apologetic and concerned for me. He fell below me, but his party helped me back up and into my skis. They too were concerned for me, and when they were assured I was OK, skied down to my companion to tell him. The accident was an error of judgement, and I was totally unharmed. No need to exchange personal details. Jules B's accident was a totally different thing. The offending skier, should certainly have stopped, rendered what assistance he could, and exchanged details.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
That's how civilized people would do it. Most people seem that way, but sadly not all of them. It's stating the obvious, but a defensive approach is key.

--
Lists: professionally, amongst other things, I write "lists" of stuff to do when bad things happen. So it's perhaps not a surprise that I have lists of what to do when my wallet is stolen and for other foreseeable calamities. Um. Well yes, I did have a contingency plan for exit from the single market too.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Everyone knows the rules.

If you hit someone, you ski off as fast as possible.

If someone hits you, you get up and hit them.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Whitegold wrote:
If someone hits you, you get up and hit them.

I tried. That's when my ligaments went "pop..." Confused
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Refer to rule 7
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
so what would be everyone's reaction to someone in a car who hit a pedestrian, shattering their leg, and then driving off?

I think there's a massive instance of double standards occurring in the skiing community at large, ie in the minds of people who think it's fine to injure and leave
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valais2 wrote:
so what would be everyone's reaction to someone in a car who hit a pedestrian, shattering their leg, and then driving off?

I think there's a massive instance of double standards occurring in the skiing community at large, ie in the minds of people who think it's fine to injure and leave


I'm not sure it's double standards it's just a bunch of jackasses on the slopes from the overly entitled and possibly alcohol lubricated older folk to ignorant young punks full of bravado who regard accidents as just a bit of a laugh. Which they (often) are if it's just you but not when you're colliding with someone else.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, well, do we treat it as rugby - high risk of accident, no litigation - or shooting someone whilst practising archery and failing to take precautions - legitimate case?
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I *believe* in Austria you're legally obliged to stop and help someone in the event of an accident (not just on the road or snow, but wherever), and I *believe* this extends to witnesses (and obviously those involved) exchanging details too. Can't remember where/when I was told this, but certainly in ski instructor training we were told we should collect the details of anyone involved/witnessing a ski accident.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
rob@rar wrote:
There's also the question of being composed enough to exchange details....


Not ski related, but collision related. After a decade in insurance of preaching to people to exchange details, take photos and immediately write down what happened....I was involved in an RTA in November. No injuries to me, his car was destroyed, mine was cosmetic damage only, but we were both still so shaky that it took me a bit of time (probably 5 minutes) to work out what to do. Then it turned out that neither of could write our own names or phone numbers due to adrenaline rush. Business cards exchanged and we sorted it out a few hours later.


I've never hit anyone or been hit when skiing but if you see someone in difficulty anywhere surely anyone with a modicum of decency would stop and help, be that on the slopes, broken down car, RTA, split grocery bag or whatever. If you don't stop and help when someone is in trouble then I hope karma reeks revenge.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
clarky999 wrote:
I *believe* in Austria you're legally obliged to stop and help someone in the event of an accident (not just on the road or snow, but wherever), and I *believe* this extends to witnesses (and obviously those involved) exchanging details too. Can't remember where/when I was told this, but certainly in ski instructor training we were told we should collect the details of anyone involved/witnessing a ski accident.

It is the law in France.
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The problem is, even if it's the law, in practical (and cost/resource) terms, especially as people may well be of differing nationalities and only in a country for a few days of holiday, who's going to bother enforcing it?
In my case, with significant but not serious or critical injury, piste patrol didn't want a report, Police seemed unbothered & certainly weren't going to take it further. If things aren't taken seriously by piste or resort officials, nor law/police, and insurers just shrug shoulders, pay out and hike premiums, then nothing will change.
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Exactly - Road accident law is relatively easy to enforce with various cctv capturing vehicles, a database of registered owners and specific licence plates. Plus descriptors - silver BMW saloon (admittedly a wide field) etc.

No real appetite or resource to enforce law re ski accidents make it a different matter.

And incidentally doing the right thing can lead to nightmares too. A friend of a friend in the US, very good and safe skier ended up being clattered by an out of control intermediate on a busy merge point late in the day. No injury to him but the woman ended up with a fracture or ACL etc so exchanged details. Ended up with the woman suing him in a civil action for distress, loss of earnings etc with the main argument being he was an expert and clearly must have been travelling too fast. They even subpoenaed his RFID pass records to show he'd done 30k feet that day and therefore must have been tired and unable to concentrate properly, and to try to prove that he skied at an excessive speed on the mountain. Guess what the data showed that as an experienced local on a fast groomer day he did know how to stick to quiet runs,avoid lift queues and was fit enough to avoid stopping which they then tried to argue he skied 2-3 times as fast as the average skier on the mountain.
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The US culture of litigation combined with excessively high healthcare costs will always cause problems

In Europe if you are involved in an accident even if you are not at fault and are uninjured you should always check on the other party/parties involved if anyone is injured ideally you want to wait until a pisteur turns up to get details so that there is less chance of being chased after for compensation if you are not at fault, I've had I think 3 people ski into me over the years, always from behind and always because they were out of control, had an aluminium pole bent once which I straightened out on my own, but never injured and the other parties have been ok each time. I always have insurance that will cover 3rd party liability because you never know what might happen. I once saw someone carrying their skis fall over on a patch of ice and their skis smacked into an adjacent child, who thank god was wearing a helmet, helmet was cracked but child was fine but if they hadn't had a helmet..... Just an accident with no bad behaviour involved but the potential for serious injury.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@D G Orf, In my case, the 'pisteur' (or ski patrol or anyone ele at all) never turned up per se. That really surprised me, on a well-trafficed, popular blue run. Eventually, and it was a long time, well after details had been exchanged and the offending paty and family had left to continue their happy day's skiing (no, they hadn't bothered to summon assistance, just left us alone in the middle of a piste, protected only by a snowboard laid out, with me on the floor unable to stand or walk, never mind ski), a friendly German/Austrian boarder stopped to ask if we were OK. When hearing that we weren't, he said that he'd go down to the chairlift, return up and notify the man at the top - which he duly did, and then came back with his missus and waited with us (which felt like a very long time) until a man came on the little piste cart to pick me up and take me to the gondola.
Said piste cart man did ask if I wanted an ambulance, and must have radioed down to the bottom to expect an injured skier coming off the gondola, as someone was waiting to help me off, but didn't want an incident report or anything completing at all except for a short form with my name and address, apparently to confirm just that they had sent the cart out to pick me up after injury. Didn't seem to be a disclaimer or anyting, just "for our records".
Really surprised me how unconcernd the Piste people were, how alone and helpless I felt, lying injured and not knowing how I got help or how I got off the piste, and how no-one for a very long time stopped (even though a few even managed to fall over very near to me and many, many people on skis and boards passed by) even just to enquire if I/we were OK or needed help.
With hindsight I should have flagged someone down and asked them to get me help and also insisted that the offending party who hit me stayed with me until a piste person was found, then insisted (to the extend that I could) that they made a statement, etc, etc (though they were starting to get argumentative and a bit agressive, in a foreign language and there were more of them than the 2 of us) - but this was my first injury and first collision, I really wasn't thinking straight and was dazed and confused (and in pain and worried about my legs), Mr G was obviously also more concerend with me than anything else - and so on. Live and learn, if (and hopefully not) it ever happens again.

I also have 3rd party liability cover (I think that all policies do as a matter of course these days) and if I can trace and get someone to take action against the person who hit me, I'll certainly be claiming on theirs, as will my insurers.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Worth programming the local patrol dispatch number into your phone. In any major resort it would be amazing if that is manned by someone who doesn't speak English.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

how alone and helpless I felt, lying injured and not knowing how I got help or how I got off the piste


Whenever you go somewhere new it's always worth checking you know how to call emergency services. In Austria at least all numbers are on the piste maps, but you can also dial 144 for general emergency (typically for ambulance, but also covers things like water rescue) or 140 for mountain rescue.

In Tirol you can also use: http://www.tyrol.com/good-to-know/mobile-apps/emergency-app
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Exactly - Road accident law is relatively easy to enforce with various cctv capturing vehicles, a database of registered owners and specific licence plates. Plus descriptors - silver BMW saloon (admittedly a wide field) etc.

No real appetite or resource to enforce law re ski accidents make it a different matter.

And incidentally doing the right thing can lead to nightmares too. A friend of a friend in the US, very good and safe skier ended up being clattered by an out of control intermediate on a busy merge point late in the day. No injury to him but the woman ended up with a fracture or ACL etc so exchanged details. Ended up with the woman suing him in a civil action for distress, loss of earnings etc with the main argument being he was an expert and clearly must have been travelling too fast. They even subpoenaed his RFID pass records to show he'd done 30k feet that day and therefore must have been tired and unable to concentrate properly, and to try to prove that he skied at an excessive speed on the mountain. Guess what the data showed that as an experienced local on a fast groomer day he did know how to stick to quiet runs,avoid lift queues and was fit enough to avoid stopping which they then tried to argue he skied 2-3 times as fast as the average skier on the mountain.


Exactly and probably knows also when the can ski fast and when he needs toslow it down. Skiing mount Vallon on a busy day 3 weeks ago I was appalled at couple of skiers clearly in the back seat charging down with no sign of any ability to control what they were doing. They cut across someone, and caused them to fall, but managed to avoid clattering someone but the potential for disaster were there. On that run could we ski quicker yes, but you ski to the conditions and how many people are on piste. Thst skier clearly couldn't have reacted to anything 50 yards in front of him.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I always stop if I see someone fallen over, or at least shout "Ca va?" as I hurtle past, even if they are clearly not hurt. They might just need a hand getting their ski on. Actually I might not apply that rule yo able bodied men but certainly to women, children and the elderly.

I do think we can't apply the same rules as we do on the road. There is a degree of 'rugby rules' here. We need to accept that there is a risk of injury and for minor injuries I wouldn't expect to ask for identity or anything else. If I bent someone's pole I'd offer to pay for it, but I'd probably expect them to refuse my offer.

@philwig, Sorry, but I'm probably not going to offer to pay for scratches to your board. I'd apologise for skiing across it or standing on it (although hopefully I wouldn't have comitted the sin in the first place), but it would be a bit like a rugby player expecting the opposition to pay to have his kit cleaned after a ruck. Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
foxtrotzulu wrote:


I do think we can't apply the same rules as we do on the road. There is a degree of 'rugby rules' here. We need to accept that there is a risk of injury and for minor injuries I wouldn't expect to ask for identity or anything else. If I bent someone's pole I'd offer to pay for it, but I'd probably expect them to refuse my offer.



I'd expect to hold you to your offer. Having a broken pole is pretty inconvenient in the wrong place and curiously enough resorts are not the easiest place to find £10 specials as replacements. That said if someone clattered me and I was unhurt but the offender lost a ski - I'd be highly tempted to ski off with it some considerable distance so they had opportunity to reflect on their sins while they did the walk of shame.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Dave of the Marmottes,

I did say 'bent a pole', not break it.

As for carting a miscreants ski a few hundred yards down the slope, I dare say you'd be tempted but I don't think you'd actually do it. Too well brought up.
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clarky999 wrote:
I *believe* in Austria you're legally obliged to stop and help someone in the event of an accident (not just on the road or snow, but wherever), and I *believe* this extends to witnesses (and obviously those involved) exchanging details too. Can't remember where/when I was told this, but certainly in ski instructor training we were told we should collect the details of anyone involved/witnessing a ski accident.
It's called 'Unterlassene Hilfeleistung', depending on the consequences of your actions you can be put in prison for up to a year if for example the person dies without you having attempted to help. The same applies in Germany.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,

I did say 'bent a pole', not break it.

As for carting a miscreants ski a few hundred yards down the slope, I dare say you'd be tempted but I don't think you'd actually do it. Too well brought up.


Maybe but it would be a better response than those who'd go full old testament on anyone who touched a hair on their child's head. In fact wouldn't it ensure better conduct if it was a FIS Rule. Oh yeah if I hit someone and it's my fault I'll have a long walk.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
foxtrotzulu wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,

I did say 'bent a pole', not break it.

As for carting a miscreants ski a few hundred yards down the slope, I dare say you'd be tempted but I don't think you'd actually do it. Too well brought up.


Maybe but it would be a better response than those who'd go full old testament on anyone who touched a hair on their child's head. In fact wouldn't it ensure better conduct if it was a FIS Rule. Oh yeah if I hit someone and it's my fault I'll have a long walk.


Probably wouldn't make much difference as not enough people know the FIS rules/guidelines and it's safe to assume that the miscreant in question probably wasn't following the rules anyway. If they caused an accident by ignoring a rule then they probably aren't going to be too fussed about another rule.

Interestingly this thread has prompted me to go and look at the actual FIS rules/guideline and accompanying notes. Something I hadn't done before having only seen the abbreviated version published in piste maps and the like. One or two interesting snippets:

'The skier or snowboarder in front has priority. The skier or snowboarder moving behind another in the same direction must keep sufficient distance between himself and the other skier or snowboarder so as to leave the preceding skier or snowboarder enough space to make all his movements freely.' The last few words are interesting given a recent thread about whether it is reasonable for a skier to change from short turns to big carving turns. This rule above makes clear they are perfectly within their rights to do so, although I suspect we all agree that it makes sense for that person to glance over their shoulder before doing so.

Rule 6 makes clear that you shouldn't stop somewhere you can't be seen from above, but rule 2 also says that 'A skier or snowboarder must be able to stop, turn and move within the ambit of his own vision'. So if a skier has been daft enough to stop below a lip/drop off and you collide with them as you come over that drop then you are both at fault.

The good news for female Snowheads is that the FIS rules always seem to refer to skiers/boarders as 'he', so presumably the girls are exempt.

Full details if the rules here: http://www.fis-ski.com/mm/Document/documentlibrary/Administrative/04/22/77/10fisrulesforconductandenvironment_02.08.2016_English.pdf
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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This thread is quite depressing in a way, well the litigation bit...

Surely people should do the decent thing if they hit someone...otherwise we'll all end up having to wear go-pro's all the time to use as evidence in case someone claims we're at fault Sad
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Worth programming the local patrol dispatch number into your phone.

Can you explain & expand to numpty old me, please? I felt very alone when I had my injury - and that was on a relatively small and relatively well-populated piste - and didn't know how to summon help bar getting someone else to ski/board for it. Something which I'd always somehow stupidly assumed automatically just appeared as if by magic... It would have been great if I could have got Mr G to phone for help. (This was Austria.)

@Steilhang, that's very interesting. I wonder if I can use it against the person who hit me? (They weren't Austrian or German though.) The Police didn't seem to be very bothered - though in fairness we did manage to catch the offending by ourselves, even if they didn't voluntarily stop or come to exchange details.
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@Grizzler, the piste map in most resorts will have the phone number you call to alert piste rescue. Every time you visit a new resort you should program that number in to your phone so you can easily call it in case of an emergency. If you are skiing with more than two people it can be quicker to send one person to the nearest lift station as they will most likely have radio contact with the piste rescue service, and will probably be able to better describe the location of the injured party with your help rather than try to do that over the phone with a person in an office who possibly isn't in the resort (Italy for example, where you seem to call the standard 112 emergency number rather than a resort-based number).

People not stopping to ask if you are OK is pretty bad. I always ask if I see somebody not getting up.
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Grizzler wrote:
The Police didn't seem to be very bothered ...
When I had an accident in Austria earlier this season the local police were very interested, actually contacting me rather than me contacting them. After I was discharged from the hospital a local officer drove 30 minutes up the valley to meet me at my apartment to take my statement, which was then sent to the Austrian prosecutors office. I have no idea how this happened, I can only assume that the hospital notified the police.
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