Helmet cameras

A story on the BBC website about a van driver convicted for careless driving by the footage of a cyclist’s helmet camera has prompted a debate which has predictably degenerated into the usual ‘road tax’, RLJs, uninsured, unlit cyclist nonsense that occurs every week.

I was further upset by this article about a local cyclist’s death and the lack of justice around the case so posted it to my Facebook account.  It drew a response which a good friend thought was measured and balanced:

I agree that there are far too many accidents involving cyclists but many around here are not helping themselves. Many go straight thru junctions without looking, and especially seem to believe that they can ride thru a red traffic light! Plus the number that cycle in the dark with no lights and dark clothing is ridiculous! Unfortunately they give a bad impression of all cyclists 😦
I always look for cyclists but some could do more to help!

 

But the new me wasn’t going to stand for that.  In another moment of clarity (by my hazy standards) I countered with the following observation which is something I have wanted to get off my chest for a long time: 

 
They are fools but mostly to themselves.
I have seen numerous car driver texting whilst driving but would not condem all drivers as seems to happen to cyclists when the issue of their safety arises in the media.
There is a consipacy against us: How many pedestrians are killed every day by vehicles? yet a few people injured in a train derailment and it is news-worthy for days.
We ALL need to be careful and the more kgs of metal we are in control of the more careful we should be!

 

My sister mailed me saying that she had been thinking about me and the helmet camera prior to reading my Facebook status and would I like one for my approaching ‘special’ birthday?  The more I think about it the more sense it would make.  A couple of years ago I ran a red light because I was busy replaying an event in my mind that had occurred 5 minutes earlier when a bus went through red across my path.  I gave chase, collected details and reported the driver (typical waste of time response came back from First buses).  With a camera rolling I would have been able to clear the incident from my mind knowing that it had been captured.  As I rode home this evening I imagined a camera was rolling on my head and I systematically checked all side streets, thought about road position and the best option for each junction.  I think that mindset improved my behaviour too.  Cyclists are not perfect, well this one isn’t anyway.  The camera would also help moderate my language too.

“We ALL need to be careful and the more kgs of metal we are in control of the more careful we should be!”

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About holmesinho

Happily married father of 2 living in Prestwich 5 miles north of Manchester, England. I cycle most days though mostly commuting and also enjoy running and triathlon.
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2 Responses to Helmet cameras

  1. Jonathan says:

    Long time reader, first time poster – many thanks and please keep up the good work!

    It’s a shame that all cycling concerns quickly degenerate into the same old nonsense flame wars, especially when cyclists regularly get injured or worse.
    And now we have government ministers who suggest that all cyclists wear ‘rubber knickers’:
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=pickles+rubber+knickers
    Next time a politician asks a cycling advocate about RLJers (as though all cyclists are guilty) the politician should be quizzed on expenses and corruption.
    There was a longer piece on the BBC Breakfast show yesterday, and Roger Geffen (CTC) was pushed with questions like this, and batted it off well by saying “it’s not about us vs them”.

    The lack of justice will hopefully get more attention in future due to campaigns like:
    http://saveacyclist.wordpress.com/
    And the junction where this incident happened is due to be reworked – we are campaigning for better cycling provision and have been assured of this, but as usual we’ve not been shown any plans yet.

    I really like this phrase:
    “We ALL need to be careful and the more kgs of metal we are in control of the more careful we should be!”
    Have you considered sharing it with Save A Cyclist and the Cycling Embassy ?
    http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/

    And be careful on your first camera ride – this chap was paying attention to the wrong things and ended up filming his own incompetence!

    Cheers, Jonathan.

  2. holmesinho says:

    Thanks for the comments and the interesting links Jonathan.
    I particularly like the save a cyclist campaign and the desire to reach out to motorists who think the default position is to hate all cyclists. I have joined the Embassy but not done anything about it. I’ll put forward the slogan (and not demand any royalties). We cannot deny that a significant proportion of cyclists don’t follow the rules of the road. For non cycling motorists that’s hard to stomache but some cyclists are bending the rules for good reason whilst others are just lazy.

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