Friday, July 27, 2012

Wear a helmet cam, and get justice done

After two recent right hook crashes on Phase IV of Diamond Drive that have knocked two of our cyclists off their bikes, I am wondering if we should start wearing helmet cams. In one of those instances, the cyclist,who was injured seriously, was cited for an implausible violation--a pedestrian jaywalking type violation. This case is currently headed for court so I won't comment further, for now.

Mind you, I am not suggesting helmet cams in lieu of competent cycling. Please ride through that section with your head up and mind focussed. Use the SEE (Search, Evaluate, Execute) concept. Know how to perform an evasive act; there are plenty of places to practice. But when all else fails, don't be caught short on good data..

When all else does fail, a good video of a crash or near miss is worth a thousand words, especially since the cyclist is often lying on his back wordless and the motorist is putting the best spin on things to cover his or her own okole after safely emerging from his or her "cage".

I've had several close calls south of Orange/Sandia and on two instances, stopped and asked the driver why he and she put me in harm's way. The answer both times was "I didn't see you". Uh, yeah, uh-huh....this is an unimpressive display of less than stellar vehicle operation in what should be the "World's Greatest Driving Protecting America". God help us if these folks work in a sensitive or high hazard facility and work as carelessly as when they drive.

From the NY Times:

Cameras Are Cyclists’ ‘Black Boxes’ in Accidents

"WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car. But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode. After watching a recording of the incident later, Mr. Wilder gave the license plate number to the police and a suspect was eventually charged with leaving the scene of an accident..."


Steve A said...

Lately, pondering "high vis" and reflectivity, I've considered the trend of fire departments across the US to festoon fire engines across the entire rear in same in an attempt to get motorists to see them. And then there's the Dallas DART driver that plowed into a stopped line of cars at an offramp. We need to simply stop blaming the victim and let people know that "I didn't see" is a confession of gross negligence, fault, and NOT an excuse. But then there are still the wrong way sidewalk cyclists that shoot across intersections with no lights in the dark...

Anonymous said...

I believe helmet cams would not be allowed on LANL property. There would be no way to use them to commute to work at the Lab.

Khal said...

Most cell phones have cameras. Its worth asking if LANL would treat a helmet cam like it does a personal cell phone--turn it off while on Govt property.

Khal said...

I had a short chat with LANL security today. Turn the helmet cam off upon reaching DOE roads and its not substantially different than having a cell phone in your pack but with the camera unused. Mind you, someone might ask you if the damn thing is indeed off and you might have to answer to their satisfaction.

Like with any other advice, caveat emptor. Its worth the price you paid for it and not a nickle more.

Chandra said...

I have started using a helmet camera all the time, recently.

Talk about these "drivers"...wonder how many like these operate public transportation vehicles, fly planes etc.

Peace :)