Five days ago I argued that it was time to make dash cams mandatory for motor vehicles. Today, I’m making a plea with my fellow cyclists. We’ve know that far too many motorists couldn’t care less about us. We know the police can’t be bothered to respond to our complaints. We know that for every minor incident which a witness will never even wait to talk about there is a major accident waiting around the corner. For decades we’ve been thrown onto our back
foot, wheel, erm whatever… but now we have the technology to fight back. Now we can buy cams to fit to our bicycles.
The wearer of this head cam seems to have escape 2012 unscathed but only after the stress of the too many violations of the Highway Code for me to have time to count this morning. Each one of the following transgressions could have cost him dearly. Dear motorists, we all know that most of you drive considerately but there is a persistent and probably recidivist minority which drive cyclists off the road. Make no mistake, most people could not contemplate cycling not because they are fat and lazy but because they are frightened of motor vehicles. Whilst we all have our own personal theories as to why some people drive like bastards ~ mine is that the worst offenders are those who spent their working lives on the roads and have developed an absurd sense of ownership of the physical space ~ the fact is that only an experienced cyclist can even recognise much of the nasty driving. In the video that follows, many viewers might be asking themselves, what’s the big deal? If you watch it and think that, remind yourself that this stuff is almost completely filmed from someone’s head. The front of their vehicle (their bicycle) is actually further forward than the camera. Also, don’t forget about other factors such as the amount of rubber each road user is pressing down into the tarmac, the stopping distance for a cyclist and the fact that cyclists are outside their vehicle and much more likely to come into close personal contact with the tarmac.
Dear motorists, if you think I’m over-egging this, ask yourselves, how many transgressions of the Highway Code were there in that video? I doubt very much that most drivers get the answer right.
Eighteen months ago I carried a bicycle cam for a week. During that time, I recorded one transgression after another. Two of them I complained about at the time. Both emails were acknowledged by Sussex Police. One complaint was dealt with. One was ignored completely ~ chasing emails were not acknowledged (even though they never bounced back). If this was a diplomatic, police or military car with some sort of protected status, surely I could have been told?
Imagine if 50% of all crime reports just generated an automated acknowledgement and the police declined to even respond after that? That would be a scandal. Is there some kind of limit on how often the police will hear a complaint from one person? No, there isn’t. They just can’t be bothered with cyclists. The time has come to expose this outrage. We’ve waited far too long to see if we can persuade people to be nice to us. The time has come to fight back.
This is a call to all cyclists. Mount a cycle cam on your bicycle. Every time you are placed in danger by a motorist, grab the footage and upload it with these tags: #CycleCam, #BadDriving and #the-vehicle’s licence plate. Let’s spend 2013 gathering our evidence. Make sure you also upload information about the exact time and place. Complaint to the police about the incident. If the complaint is not responded too, mark the video with another tag: #PoliceSilence. Then we can launch a mass complaint about all this crap. If the police don’t respond, we can launch judicial review proceedings in the High Court to prove that they have an unlawful policy of ignoring cyclists. The time’s are gonna change. There’s gonna be a new mantra on the road: four wheels bad, two wheels good.