Collision-catchers: how helmet-cams took off

Cyclists are attaching video cameras to their helmets. Alas the police don't like it.

Share
Related Topics

Dizzying scenes of barrelling waves and feats on mountainsides? Sure. The daily grind of the cycle commute? Not so exciting. But mini cameras, once the preserve of surfers and skiers, are starting to appear on the helmets and handlebars of bike riders, the latest weapon in a (silly, I believe) war on the roads.

Bike retailers report growing demand (75 per cent in the last year at Evans Cycles) for cameras that capture spills rather than thrills, recording evidence of bad driving. While still in the minority, video-cyclists have become numerous enough that two recently crossed paths when a driver pulled out in front of them. Their videos swiftly appeared on YouTube, showing a near miss and an angry exchange. "Look up your number plate on YouTube and you'll see the video!" one cyclist shouts. "You'll be on there twice," the other says. YouTube hums with such footage and sites such as PoliceWitness.com, run by a former police chief, try to get videos into the courts. The site also sells a range of "justice cameras" for use by drivers and cyclists, while other models serve as much as black boxes as cameras. The Cateye Inou includes a GPS chip to record the location of an incident.

Elsewhere, accelerometers tell cameras to save the last 10 minutes of footage in the event of an impact.

All very well, but the police don't like it (they and the Crown Prosecution Service say prosecution based on video evidence is unlikely). Nor do I. As a cyclist and driver, I say the wearing of cameras and what feels like the pursuit of confrontation by some only fuels a combative culture on our roads that contibutes to many of the incidents committed to YouTube. Is this worth it in the hope of an unlikely prosecution, a momentary shaming or any supposed visual deterrent offered by cameras? I say not.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Science Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...

EBD LSA vacancy - Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan

£60 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme plus free professional training: Randstad Ed...

Science Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Are you a qualified secondary...

Foundation Phase teacher vacancy - Roath, Cardiff

£100 - £105 per day + Travel Scheme plus free professional training: Randstad ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Gordon Brown’s finest hour, a letter from Quebec and the problem of anti-politics

John Rentoul
 

i Editor's Letter: The campaigning is over. So now we wait...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week