Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eye In The Sky

How does it feel to have a camera strapped to your head?
In all honesty I do feel a little bit silly. As you can see from the photo above the camera is quite noticeable even in silhouette. Pedestrians seem to stare at me a bit more. They're probably wondering if they'll end up on YouTube, there's very little chance of that though.
What I have noticed is that motorists notice it more and I seem to be getting a wider berth. This may be because I'm aware of the camera and haven't noticed how good the majority of drivers are, which they are. The kind of drivers who wouldn't notice are quite probably the same people that the camera will catch doing reckless stuff.
As time goes by there'll be a lot more cameras on the road. Cyclists and motorcyclists will be the more obvious users but dashcams in all kinds of vehicles are becoming more widespread too. Buses and lorries use them already but I suspect that more car users will own one in case of a collision. What's better than a video to prove you're not in the wrong. At some point insurance companies will probably give a discount if you use one and it can't be long before Garmin or TomTom will integrate a camera into their satnavs.
What I'm not so keen on is people sharing their accidents and near misses on the internet. There is I suppose an entertainment value there for some and others see their uploads as some kind of revenge. Naming and shaming has a place but most of the time it smacks of some kind of call for vigilantes to take the law into their own hands. This can have the effect of creating some kind of hysteria at which point things get out of hand. This might be taking the argument too far but I also believe there's some truth in it. The idea is that all road users get along and that the roads become safer because everyone is responsible and I do mean everyone.
Hopefully there will be a day when helmet cams are only used for recording fun stuff and not used in insurance claims.
I look forward to that day.
Even though I got hold of a decent camera for my travels I recommend strapping a bicycle torch to your helmet if a camera is too expensive for you. I can almost guarantee it'll have the same effect as the real thing and will also be useful at night. I kind of wish I'd thought of that before I bought my camera.
NB I've just re-read my Insurance post below and I don't agree with what I wrote about posting videos online. It just goes to show that how enraged people, including myself can get at incidents like the one below. In retrospect and before I owned my camera I thought that that would be a good course of action. I was wrong.
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