The bicyclist’s weapon: A camera

Psst, drivers: It might be a good idea to stop being such jerks to people on bikes.

  • biker

    It’s not like cameras have slowed down civil rights abuses by the police and they should know better, many of their squads have cameras.

    Unless there is a mass movement of shaming and/or retaliation I don’t expect cameras will have much of an impact on hostile drivers.

  • Tom K

    Maybe the cameras will lead to more criminal cases and civil lawsuits. That would certainly change behavior.

  • Bruce MacDonald

    Ignorance on the part of a tiny minority of drivers is evident to anyone who commutes on a bicycle. Just this morning someone on a relatively quiet Selby Ave. in St. Paul brayed out his window that I should “Get on the sidewalk, dumb ass!” I wanted to inquire as to where he’d learned to drive, but by then he’d roared off down the road. Is the quality of driver education in Minnesota commensurate with the responsibilities of piloting a two-ton cage of metal on surface streets?

  • Kathleen

    I would like to put a camera in my car to record some of the obnoxious idiot behavior of BICYCLISTS! I do believe in sharing, but sharing means we each get some, not that you take your half out of the middle. When I am in the right-hand lane, with my turn signal on for a right turn, and the bicyclist zooms by me ON MY RIGHT when the light turns…well, I didn’t hit him, but next time he might not be so lucky. When the bicyclist rides down the MIDDLE of the street, when there is plenty of room to pull over, and backs up car traffic for a couple of blocks, no, sorry, they have lost all right to courtesy. And I will lay on my horn and drive right on his tail till he moves.

    If you ride courteously, I will reciprocate and drive courteously.

  • Bob Collins

    // they have lost all right to courtesy.

    As a matter of law:

    (a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

    (1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

    (2) when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

    (3) when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or narrow width lanes, that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge.

  • Paul

    In addition.. we need a better educated police force. As Minoske points out in his book “Bicycling & the Law”.. law enforcement tends to be pro car driver. No big conspiracy or anything, just mirroring the public’s bias.

    So we need better prosecution of crimes, etc in these cases.

    Also, better education on both sides (e.g. reminding cyclists & drivers that both have essentially the same rights & responsibilities, not just one or the other.)

  • J

    There’s a lot of anger in the world and people take out out on the road and go out of their way to feel offended. It would be nice to share the road as we share the air, but that’s never going to happen until there’s a dramatic social change.

    As a full time bike commuter, the blame can be placed on both cyclists and drivers. Truth of the matter is that drivers think they own the road (it’s one of those mentalities that falls under bumper stickers, road rage, etc) and cyclists feel like they need their own space (same sort of mentality, maybe more hipster or elitist or drivers are jealous someone’s getting a workout).

    I’ve seen too many cyclists at night, without helmets or any reflectors, lights, etc and as a drive or even biking along, I cannot see them; and I doubt someone in a vehicle would until they bounce off their hood. I’ve also seen cyclists blatenly break the law on the road, and trust me, they get tickets just like motorists.

    As a commuting cyclist (full year), I’ve been ran off the road, yelled at, hit a few times, and I’ve rarely ran a stop sign or light and have obeyed the traffic laws. I always wear my construction vest with lights, bells, etc. I had to start riding with an air zound (120 db airhorn) when motorists are simply not looking my way and I know they’re about do something because they failed to see me. I’ve also been riding with a camera on my bike for a while, but I doubt it would lead to legal action if I’m hit [again] due to the bias car drivers have against cyclists.

    It’s comes down a an issue with current culture. Everyone is always in a hurry to get to where they need to be five minutes ago. Cyclists can go only so fast and will splat when hit by a two ton coffin. Sometimes there is change, but only after a friend or loved one is dead due to a hit-and-run or if you’re behind the wheel when it happens.

    Cyclists, however, are more alert because of the simple fact that their bodies are moving, blood is pumping, getting more nutrients to sensory organs, etc, which vs sendentary person inside a car, will not be as alert and more prone to have accidents. But they can make mistakes too.

    Personally, it’s got to the point that I ride on certain sidewalks to and from work because I simply do not feel safe riding on the streets anymore, even designated bicycle boulevards. It’s against the statue for cylists to be on the sidewalks, but I’d take my risk with a ticket vs being dead because someone was driving angry or fiddling around with their cel phone.

    By the way, I’ll blare my horn at you if you’re on the phone while driving. Hang up and drive!