ETA believes bike helmetcam footage shown on TV makes cycling look more dangerous than it is

Road rage videos do more harm than good

Do bicycle helmet cams improve safety? asks the Environmental Transport Association. 

Last week the BBC ran a news report showing helmetcam wearing cyclists being "cut up" by motorists. This was also discussed – controversially – on Top Gear.

The ETA believes this sort of confrontational footage could put many people off cycling as "too dangerous" even though urban cycling is not the extreme sport portrayed in the footage.

The ETA said: "Bicycle cam technology is now so cheap it seems certain to become increasingly popular among urban cyclists. It may even become incorporated cycle helmet design. There is no doubt that film footage can prove helpful in the event of a road traffic collision, but it is questionable whether the widespread adoption of in-vehicle cameras will improve the behaviour of road users.

"There may even be a possibility that widely publicised footage of collision involving cyclists will reinforce the engrained idea that cycling in towns is dangerous.

"BBC news aired graphic cycle helmet cam footage showing a car pulling out in front of a cyclist, which resulted in a collision and rider being thrown from his bike. Such incidents are rare, but when, as was the case in the BBC report, they are presented without any mention of the many hundreds of thousands of event-free cycle trips undertaken each day, they serve as a highly-effective way of putting people off cycling.

"Furthermore, incriminating footage is no guarantee that action will be taken against errant road users; a cyclist who late last year captured footage of a motorist threatening to kill him has been told by Hounslow Crown Prosecution Service that they plan to take no action."

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