Tired of Being Bumped and Bruised, Bicyclists Fight Back, With Technology

Increasingly utilized as 'black boxes' in the aftermath of collisions with motorized vehicles, video cameras are the newest addition to the arsenal of tools being employed to make streets safer for bikes.
July 23, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Nick Wingfield reports on the increasing use of small, bicycle- or rider-mounted video cameras, that are, "providing high-tech evidence in what is sometimes an ugly contest between people who ride the roads on two wheels and those who use four."

According to Wingflield, "Video from these cameras has begun to play an invaluable role in police investigations of a small number of hit-and-runs and other incidents around the country, local authorities say. Lawyers who specialize in representing bicyclists say they expect the use of cameras for this purpose to increase as awareness of the devices goes up and their prices, now starting at around $200, come down."

The growing use of such cameras may even work as a deterrent to prevent motorist harassment, a widespread nuisance that new laws in Los Angeles and Berkeley have sought to address.  

"'It's a fact of life that on American roads that you get punked, cut off purposely, harassed, not once but on a regular basis,' said Bob Mionske, a former Olympic cyclist who is now a lawyer representing bicyclists in Portland, Ore. 'If motorists start to hear about bikes having cameras, they're going to think twice about running you off the road.'" 

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Published on Friday, July 20, 2012 in The New York Times
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