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Videotape emerging as investigatory tool in vehicle/bike crashes

In the heat of a car accident or near-accident, many bicyclists are too frazzled and concerned about their safety to take the time to memorize vehicle license plates or other identifying features of vehicles. But even as some bicyclists continue to struggle to receive the respect they deserve on public roadways, an inventive tool is helping them defend their right-of-way.

That device is a helmet-mounted camera worn whenever a bicyclist is on the go. In the event of a bicycle accident, this simple camera can be a valuable piece of evidence that can help police track down the persons involved in an accident. The camera is particularly valuable in hit-and-run accidents when police would otherwise have a difficult time tracking down those responsible. The camera is gaining popularity among bicyclists in Ohio and across the country, and it’s expected that the popularity will increase once the cameras lower in value from their current starting price of about $200.

Some bicyclists also believe the camera will be useful in helping riders control their emotions during conflicts with motor vehicle drivers. But the larger hope is that cameras won’t just be helpful to police trying to track down criminals — in the long run, the cameras may also deter drivers from being as aggressive and/or combative with bicyclists.

The devices can also be used in the event of a motorcycle accident involving a bicyclist, as well. In many ways, the new technology is slowly starting to empower bicyclists who have previously struggled to find any form of recourse when slighted and disrespected by more dangerous motor vehicle operators.

Source: New York Times, “Cameras as cyclists’ ‘black boxes’ in accidents,” Nick Wingfield, July 20, 2012