Bike cameras: turning the tide of dangerous riders

If you are a member of Twitterati and also cycle, you probably already know @cyclingmikey – the gentle-mannered London cyclist who uses a camera to record and then flag dangerous drivers. Metropolitan Police have prosecuted more than 20,000 motorists since they started accepting video evidence through an online portal and @cyclingmikey can claim 800 of them.

The Guardian published an article this week about the man behind the @cyclingmiley Account. The article reveals how Mike van Erp lost his father in a road accident caused by a drunk driver, but as he explains to Pierre Walker, the reasons for his camera campaign go beyond his personal story: “I just like to think that with the power of a camera, I’m trying to change road safety a bit. Most cyclists realize that bad riding is widely tolerated by society. It is not considered to be a really serious thing. Yet it claims 1,800 lives a year in the UK alone, and 27,000 are seriously injured. It’s a pretty serious toll, isn’t it? “

Are bike cameras a necessary evil for today’s roads?

Spinning a bike camera on your handlebars or helmet doesn’t make the roads safer, but you feel less helpless. In the event of a traffic incident, video footage goes a long way in securing legal redress – it’s a kind of bicycle insurance.

One of the great frustrations of cycling on UK roads is the lack of infrastructure coupled with the lack of justice for vulnerable road users. We are one of the only countries in Europe to avoid what is called strict liability – a common sense law that makes motorists automatically liable for injuries caused to pedestrians and cyclists.

The bottom line for us is that court cases rely on one person’s speech against another – and since pedestrians and cyclists are often injured in road crashes, their memory of the events can be affected. And when you consider that lawmakers, magistrates and jurors are almost exclusively drivers, one begins to understand how the cards are played against vulnerable road users.

When the criminal justice system is so fragile, it pays to have camera evidence

How does the law view cycle cam evidence?

Apart from specially designed police portals, there is no reason why images cannot be admitted as evidence such as CCTV. It is likely that a witness statement will need to accompany the bicycle camera footage and will need to be uploaded to a CD with a certificate (countersigned by a lawyer) stating that it has not been altered in any way. compared to its original digital format.

The Metropolitan Police are one of the many forces that allow road users to upload camera images when reporting a road traffic incident. The Met has already received over 20,000 submissions and about two-thirds have resulted in action. Such systems are a game-changer for cyclists. Evidence of close passing, abusive drivers and crashes can all be passed to the police with the click of a mouse. We imagine that the thousands of drivers who have already received penalty points for submitting online camera images will become more considerate and cautious road users.

Good value cycle cameras

There are a thousand and one types of action cameras on the market, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to spend a lot of money. GoPro’s market dominance has inspired a host of Chinese competitors to follow suit. For example, the Akaso EK7000 is an ultra-high-definition 4K action camera that shares more than a fleeting resemblance to a GoPro – even its various mounts are compatible. And while it doesn’t have a touchscreen, it’s more than up to the task of recording daily trips. More importantly, it’s great value at under £ 55 – a price that includes a waterproof case up to 30m and a bewildering array of mounts. The Akaso does a remarkable job of capturing stable handlebar footage without the digital stabilization offered by so many of its more expensive rivals.

We have tested an Akaso action camera in the office and in the coming weeks we plan to chronicle the process of submitting images to the police … given our collective experience of the daily commute by bike, it will take not long before catching a dangerously close pass. In the meantime, we are giving you the chance to win an Akaso EK7000 bicycle camera.

Akaso action camera

Earn your own cycle cam

For a chance to win an Akaso EK7000 action camera and accessories worth £ 55, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page and we’ll pick a winner next week.

The ethical choice

ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green and reliable travel services. More than 30 years later, we continue to offer bicycle insurance (covers cargo bikes), breakdown insurance and mobility scooter insurance while placing concern for the environment at the heart of all our actions.

The Good Shopping Guide considers us the UK’s most ethical supplier.

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