Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cyclists driven to use helmet-cams

The popularity of cycling is rising across Britain, fuelled by environmental and economic concerns and driven by a desire to get fit. However there is one great threat to the cyclist: the driver. Britain’s roads are a hazardous place for the cyclist with careless and inconsiderate drivers ready to crash into them, cut them up and generally abuse them at every turn. Having been a cyclist in Cambridge I know the dangers all too well, near misses and small bumps are a daily occurrence in the city and drivers seem to have a blind spot wherever the cyclist may be. (In the name of fairness I must also mention that I have also been a driver in Cambridge and the cyclists’ disregard for traffic lights, one way signs and rights of way is infuriating at the best of times, there is certainly a sense of “they bring it on themselves” with regard to the less law abiding amongst them.) In a bid to highlight the cyclists’ plight the BBC reported on Ben Porter, who has installed a helmet camera to “capture bad driving”. Porter’s clips, many of which have been uploaded on YouTube, have become a talking point among the cycling fraternity following the conviction of a white van man using Porter’s footage. The man in question overtook Porter with very little room to spare and then in a case of road rage had got out of his van to shout abuse. All this was caught on camera and the evidence used in court to prosecute the van driver for driving without due care and attention and a public order offence. It is hoped that these cameras will revolutionise cycling in cities, forcing drivers to sit up and pay attention and restrain their tirades.

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