Cyclists in San Francisco and around California are using helmet-cameras to catch hit-and-run drivers. These cameras have become the black boxes of the cycling world and have helped authorities catch many drivers who hit bikers and then took off. Typically a cyclist wearing a helmet camera is hit from behind but manages to catch the distracted driver’s license plate while falling.
The most dramatic recent bike accident video shows two Brazilian cyclists who were run over by a car in Berkeley.
Authorities were able to use the video to track down the black car shown hitting the cyclists. It had been reported stolen by the owner but authorities suspect that the owner is covering for the driver.
Lawyers are also finding the cycling videos helpful when filing personal injury lawsuits related to bike accidents, although a strong focus is on preventing such accidents from occurring in the first place.
“It’s a fact of life that on American roads that you get punked, cut off purposely, harassed, not once but on a regular basis,” one lawyer and cyclist told the New York Times. “If motorists start to hear about bikes having cameras, they’re going to think twice about running you off the road.”
Other cyclists have noted that they are more cautious and safer riders when they know they are on camera.
“I know my actions before and after some event are going to be recorded if I’m the one being a jerk,” one cyclist said. “It makes me want to be careful.”
Source: New York Times, “Cameras Are Cyclists’ ‘Black Boxes’ in Accidents,” Nick Wingfield, July 20, 2012