The popularity of cameras

I remember when I first started recording my cycle journeys. At that time there where only a handful of cyclists that where regularly using and uploading footage onto the Internet. But look at it now and the users are in the hundreds. But why has it become popular?

As more and more videos of dangerous driving get uploaded onto the internet and more cyclists view it, the appeal to record and upload your own experiences becomes larger, especially if you have a few close shaves with motorised vehicles.

Factor in the new availability of cheaper cameras, the veho muvi camera has had a massive effect on the affordability of it. When I first started you where looking at least £100 for a system and even then it wasn’t great. Now you can get a camera for less than £20!

I’ve noticed the most growth has been in London. I have nothing to back this up but I think the growth came about shortly after the launch of roadsafe London. Cyclists jumped on this and I believe most of the reports are from cyclists. Roadsafe London changed the way that cyclists could report drivers. Before it was an impossible task and mostly taken as your word against theirs, even if you had video footage, it’s only worth the process to yourself, the police and the CPS if it is seriously bad. Roadsafe London has made it dead simple. Put the car details in, add a description, some notes about what happened, include your video URL (if you have one) and that’s it.

Now the popularity has increased, we are selling more and more media coverage of cyclists using cameras, earlier this year several cyclists appeared on BBC news in a piece about cyclists catching dangerous road users and only a few weeks ago was a driver caught punching a cyclists on someones helmet camera.

Unfortunately I see the main reason for cameras is because we are not listened to, we use them to back up what happened and to prove to people that the person that knocked us off is in the wrong. In some cases it’s a real fighting battle to be a cyclist as a lot of people just don’t want to listen to what we have to say.

Try and ignore us now, together we record our tales on the road.

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9 thoughts on “The popularity of cameras

  1. Recently I’ve spotted 3 or 4 other riders and there where certainly a few at the BF Flashride last Friday (mind you a social media/internet orgainized ride is bound to attract a few geeks….)

    However if you want the next level of realism for helmet camming have a look at the GoPro 3D setup 😉 Looks a bit bulky and isn’t going to be cheap as you need 2 camera’s but a full on 3D video would be great to show just how close that pass was 😀

  2. I find it’s the “equality before the law” that practically demands you to either drag a witness with your or set up a camera. Yes, it’s a nice legal theory when both parties have equal footing in real life – lacking solid evidence either way both parties still have roughly equal damage to attend to.

    But it all fails completely when one party has very good chances of dying or getting seriously injured while the other one is completely protected. So the real life consequences are heavily biased against the more vulnerable and yet the law pretends both to have some sort of equality in situations. So you *need* cameras and whatnot just to remove the fundamental bias. And that’s even before the creative excuses one can frequently read about. Mind boggles.

  3. Great blog Gaz.

    I get a few conments from other road users along the lines of “how would you like it if car drivers got a camera and recorded all the stupid things that ‘you lot’ do?”. My response is always the same: I would love it. If everyone knew that there’s a good chance that everything that goes on on the road will be committed to video, there would be much more thinking twice, from all road users.

    I try my very best to use the road safely, whether driving or cycling, but we could all do better. The rise of the avIlability of helmet cameras is a great tool to improve road safety and behaviour, and I hope it continues to grow.

  4. Hi Gaz,

    I’m thinking of getting some sort of helmet cam setup, it would be great if maybe you and some of the other camera cyclists could put together some reviews of the systems you use.

    Hope the collar bone’s not giving you too much more grief.

  5. One of the reasons I use a camera now is to record any interactions with the police. My wife and I were stopped twice last year for riding 2 abreast. The officers lied, bullied and even threatened to impound our bikes!

  6. I feel more reassured by having a camera than by wearing a helmet, I have never up-loaded a film and often feel sorry for the perpetrators of aggressive driving (mad I know) as they are so common, drivers really do not understand how to drive around cyclist.
    But I do love to see other cyclist films as I feel I am the only person I know who cycles assertively and so gets all the bibbing and swearing. I am worn down emotionally by the hate and violence that is shown to me on the road. When I see all you guys get it too I feel less alone.
    I am a 51 year old woman who has grey hair, and yet young men will threaten to knock me out or use really bad language. I would not expect this behaviour in any other area of my life. I am constantly amazed at how people behave because they have been held up for a nanosecond and as you all know its not me holding them up it is the car on the other side of the road, or the road layout.

  7. good post. i like the fact i can get a critique on my riding from those who have been riding longer than me. cameras are a great idea and allk road users can benefit from their use.

  8. I suppose my camera’s partly to vent (“look at this clown”), partly to protect myself (“he appeared out of nowhere – look!”), partly to join in, partly to show off, and mainly to highlight the issues, both good and bad, on the roads.

    When I finally get on a bike this won’t apply, but I also thought it was important to show things from the driver’s point of view. To the comment quoted above, “how would you like it if car drivers got a camera and recorded all the stupid things that ‘you lot’ do?”, it happens – I’m not the only one, and the response is usually good.

    (also, it’s usually car drivers that deserve uploading)

    Tim – Magnatom’s done a huge review of several of the top cameras: http://www.magnatom.net

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