There’s no doubt that cycling on British roads is about to undergo a much–needed and long overdue transformation over the next ten to twenty years and we look forward to a future of safe commuting on two wheels and a significant reduction in bicycle accident claims, casualties and fatalities.
There has been some criticism of the government for not matching their European counterparts in overall national spending on proposed safety improvements to cycling infrastructure on British roads. Between 2011 and 2012, more than 2,600 cyclists were seriously injured on UK roads, the highest number in over ten years.
It’s unlikely that we’re about to see any reversal of the 14 per cent year on year rise to the current five year high of 122 bicycle fatalities, of which 106 are known to have been caused by a collision with a motor vehicle. Nor are there likely to be any overnight changes in motorist attitudes and behaviour towards two-wheel commuters.
Explosion in cycle cams
Hence the reason why we now see bike accident claims often accompanied by video camera footage, which was recorded by a small video camera strapped to the cyclist’s helmet and increasingly, a common sight on Britain’s roads.
The explosion in “cycle cams” is yet another tangible manifestation of the lack of safety and protection cyclists feel when confronted on the road by the knee-jerk, threatening behaviour of overly aggressive motorists. It also, of course, seems to confirm that it could take a long time to turn around the entrenched attitudes separating those unwilling to equitably share the road.
There is even some evidence to suggest that camera wearing cyclists face even more antagonism from motorists who claim that video footage often “fails to provide any context” when incidents occur and invariably, “show motorists in a negative light.” However, according to a 2011 Transport for London survey, nearly six in ten of fatal and serious collisions involving cyclists were a result of “unlawful or anti-social” car driving behaviour.
Cycle camera technology has been shown to provide vital evidence when needed by the police to track down drivers who attack cyclists and to highlight potential road hazards and cycle lane inadequacies. Until road culture significantly improves, we’re likely to see more not less acts of “negative” driver behaviour recorded by vulnerable cyclists as a key defence.