Kristine L Ming

Do cycle camera make the roads any safer?

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Alamy

A foul-mouthed verbal assault by a motorist on the BBC’s Jeremy Vine as he rode his bicycle was captured on camera. The video is the latest to be posted on social media by a cyclist, but what difference does such footage make to road safety?

Jeremy Vine was cycling home down a narrow road last Friday when he was tailgated by an impatient driver who jumped out of her car, shouted at him and appeared to kick his bike. Later she threatened to “knock [Vine] out” and warned: “I could be done for murder.”

Like many other cyclists who’ve experienced similar treatment, Vine had filmed the incident, posted footage on Facebook, as well as passing it on to police.

Cycle cameras were first sold as accessories for recreational riders to allow them to edit and create films of their journeys. One of the first was the GoPro video camera, which launched in 2006.

But it soon became apparent they were useful for recording collisions. Cyclists began posting near-misses and other dangerous driving on video-sharing websites like YouTube.

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YouTube

Image caption

Cyclists share near collisions on social media sites such as YouTube

The roads can be dangerous places for cyclists, who are particularly vulnerable to injury. In 2014, 21,287 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). This included 3,514 who were killed or seriously injured.

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