Some bicyclists are wearing cameras on their helmets or strapping the devices to their heads to capture mementos of their rides–and to record the evidence in case of an accident. The New York Times reports on the new phenomena, calling the cameras “the cycling equivalent of the black box on an airplane.” The videos 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,” the story says.
For some riders, the technology may encourage more lawful behavior – curbing in the impulse to cut through traffic flagrantly ignoring the traffic laws. But bicyclists also have found that the cameras can also deter motorist harassment, a problem that many complain about and that cities like Los Angeles and Berkeley, Calif., have sought to combat with new laws.
The cameras will become even more popular now that prices have gone down to as low as $200. Already, the cameras have played a role in police investigations of hit-and-run accidents. In one case, police charged a driver with leaving the scene of an accident based on video provided by bicyclist Evan Wilder, who was knocked to the ground after being sideswiped by a pickup truck. Wilder was bruised and scraped in the accident. “Without the video, we wouldn’t know who did it,” he told the Times.