The last few years have seen an explosion of small mobile video cameras. GoPro, Garmin, Sony and now Cycliq have created the “action camera”. This modern technology has given cyclists a new safety tool. Front and back light/camera combinations record sound and video in high definition and provide crystal clear recordings of the traffic around the cyclist.
They also serve as powerful front and back lights that blink in several patterns and intensities lasting from two to six hours. The front camera records what you see while driving your bike; the back one records what follows or overtakes you. Used together, these recordings provide a record of what is happening around you including the make, model, color, license plate, road position and sometimes the driver’s face. Having used several light/camera combinations over the past few years, I know how powerful a tool they can be.
Why would a bicyclist need a bicycle camera? Many cyclists share their rides online. However, if you spend much time driving your bicycle on public roads and multi-modal trails, think about its other uses to record their surroundings; inattentive driving, road rage, harassment and the big one… not following the rules of the road.
Before you run out and purchase this equipment for your bike, however, know that your action camera will video exactly what happened. If you didn’t stop or properly yield entering an intersection or roundabout, your camera’s video will prove you are at least partially at fault for any collision that occurred. Upon impact, the camera locks previous files and executes a recording of events after the collision. A timestamp can be displayed as well.
As a tip, how you present your report or questions to a police officer may influence the cooperation you receive. When requesting assistance, beginning with “Can you please assist me with this dangerous driver?” can be an effective way of presenting your plea for help.
For the past decade I have reminded Villagers that their actions when driving either a car or a bike have consequences. State law regarding the movement of all types of vehicles and pedestrians must be followed to help keep every motorist, cyclist and pedestrian as safe as possible.
Keeping this advice brief, I offer a recent web article that answers many of the questions raised when comparing bicycle cameras. Personally, I have chosen the Cycliq Fly12ce (front) and Fly 6 gen3 (rear) light/camera combinations. They check all the boxes for me: stable video, crisp audio, timestamp, long battery life, bright lights with several blink patterns and a sturdy mounting design for bicycle use.
The site that reviews many more cameras is: Thegeekycyclist
David Lawrence, SLBC Director of Safety