Researcher: Helmet cams antagonize drivers

Dear cyclist: Do not taunt the monster in the room, because he might hurt you when he gets angry! He’s utterly unable to control himself and it’s your own stupid fault if he hurts you after you point a camera at him.

Cameras worn by cyclists to highlight the daily dangers they face from motorists on Britain’s roads are fuelling tensions between car and bike users, a new study argues.

Kah Chan, a behavioural expert at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, has argued in a new study that the cameras could be further antagonising the two groups.

“The observable net effect of the increased use of cameras is one of distrust between modes of transport. Why have traffic relationships deteriorated to the point that cyclists feel the need for cameras as a self-defence mechanism?

Kah Chan, who has a degree in “Digital Media – 3D Animation” and teaches video game design at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, claims that his research shows that sharing helmet cam footage online only antagonizes the poor victims who are shown in the videos.

Mr Chan also tells cyclists to fit in better by avoiding bike-specific kit and wearing normal clothing to get around.

More in the Independent: Helmet cams for cyclists set road users on collision course. I don’t know if the news article gives an accurate representation of Chan’s view, but on the surface it’s pretty infuriating.

10 Comments

  • August 5, 2013 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    also if you are female make sure to wear long skirts and long sleeves and a high neckline and ideally a veil, otherwise if you are attacked it is your fault.

  • August 5, 2013 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Bingo!

  • August 5, 2013 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Quote directly from the “behavioural expert” “Why have traffic relationships deteriorated to the point that cyclists feel the need for cameras as a self-defence mechanism?”

    That, Mr Chan, is the root cause. Use of cameras didn’t CAUSE anything. stupid idiot doesn’t even understand causal relationships…

  • August 5, 2013 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

    “Why have traffic relationships deteriorated to the point that cyclists feel the need for cameras as a self-defence mechanism?”

    Because law enforcement automatically finds the cyclist at fault otherwise? Current law is pretty car-centric. Unless you can prove you were innocent, you’re guilty, it seems.

  • Dan
    August 5, 2013 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    So when cars, such as police cars, have cameras on them, pedestrians are justified in getting angry at them? A good defense for the next riot!

  • jymdyer
    August 5, 2013 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

    • Not surprising. Ill-behaved motorists (the ones we’re most likely to intreract with under these conditions) are emboldened by their anonymity.

  • jd
    August 5, 2013 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow, sounds like the motorists are getting in a tizzy because the normal police/societal bias against cyclists is being laid bare for all to see, and of course that pisses motorists off because they have to start acknowledging and respecting cyclists.

    I think helmet-mounted cameras are one on of the greatest advancements in bicycling infrastructure. It’s unfortunate that it has to come to this, but apparently there is no other way to get society to wake up and take cycling seriously and acknowledge that it makes everyone’s life better.

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  • mbk
    August 6, 2013 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking lately I should get a dashcam for my car and/or a handlebarcam for my bicycle commute. Too much crazy out there not to record.

    And hey, if it’s going to be a surveillance state, I might as well have a copy.

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