Helmet Cams and Commuting without Lights

The BBC ran a story recently about helmet cams being used by cyclists to capture bad behaviour by drivers.  I used to use a helmet cam last year, but I’ve not used it since the nights got darker last autumn.

The output is pretty good – you can view my video’s here.  They are really useful, and if you commute regularly you will know how bad drivers are these days in the rush-hour.  I did notice that drivers were far less agressive when they saw the camera pointing at them.

Drivers often defend their terrible behaviour by diverting attention to the poor behaviour of some cyclists (who however badly they behave are unlikely to kill someone with a ton of steel I might add.)

“What about cyclists?  They all ignore the rules of the road and jump red lights!”

Well there may be a minority of cyclists who do that but frankly there are a significantly higher proportion of cars that jump red lights these days.  And it’s no longer as the lights are on amber changing to red – it’s several seconds after red before cars stop.  And don’t get my started about mobile phone use!  Especially those drivers that think we can’t see them texting because they’ve got the phone below the window line.  We can see, and the fact that you are weaving about gives it away.  See what happens when they notice you have a camera on your helmet.  It can be quite amusing!

It all means you need your wits about you when commuting.  Which is why I am absolutely staggered at the number of cyclists I see in and around Manchester who cycle without lights.  Today I saw 5 cyclists without lights.  Several obviously thought their hi-viz jackets and bands made lights superfluous.  They didn’t.  And two complete and utter morons not only had no lights but were dressed in black clothing.  Basically perfectly camouflaged.  Total stupidity.  Don’t risk it for the sake of a few quid spent on lights.

 

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