Dooring incident caught on two cameras
A female cyclist had two cameras rolling as she was knocked off her bike when a Brighton man and two others exited a taxi at the corner of Collins and Swanston Street on Monday night.PT2M9S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-351cw 620 349 March 19, 2014
In light of the recent rash of video nasties of cyclists getting mashed and harassed by cars, I wonder how long it will be until someone documents a death, perhaps even their own?
Footage now uploaded at stunningly regular intervals of bike riders being clipped, run down, rear-ended and “doored” has to be a wake-up call to motorists as to how deadly and ruinous simple ignorance and inattention can be.
Aggressive or intimidatory driving towards cyclists, however? Surely there’s a case fast being made these sorts of actions should move up the criminal scale, past dangerous driving, and attract the gravity of an attempted vehicular homicide or manslaughter charge?
The successful penetration of the “metre matters” campaign is testament to how confronting these videos have been, hopefully prompting even the most cautious and diffident motorist to reassess their driving strategies near cyclists.
Having previously been cavalier about cyclist safety on social media, I received some very blunt character assessments from enthusiasts and professionals - including Tour de France winner Cadel Evans. I now understand bikers take this stuff very seriously and with good reason.
As much as non-cyclists enjoy moaning about bikers impairing their speed on roads, running red lights and otherwise disobeying traffic rules, it’s ludicrous to deny riding on two wheels can be an extremely dangerous pastime.
The volume of recorded incidents we’re seeing appear - which surely represents only a fraction of the accidents and near misses experienced by riders - suggests the long-voiced complaints and fears of cyclists about motorist behaviour (and awareness) are spot on.
They also show the incompatibility of most busy thoroughfares with bicycle traffic and the pressing need for governments to reassess how cyclists are catered for. Bicycle lanes are a great idea in theory but a white line does little to protect cyclists from the reality of physics, f---wits and the feckless.
Even the most conscientious driver has been guilty of distractedly opening a car door without looking - and it's only dumb luck there wasn't a passing cyclist to bounce into the path of incoming traffic. Surely we can do better than gambling people's lives on a coin toss?
The increasing use of helmet cams and devices like the newly launched Fly6 will hopefully raise driver consciousness and also act as a deterrent to the minority of mugs who are happy to use their vehicle to jeopardise or threaten a cyclist’s safety.
However, incidents like this week’s much-publicised “dooring” of a rider on Collins Street in Melbourne, highlight that the use of technology is going to require restraint and, perhaps, policing.
As appalled as many people rightly were by the attitude of taxi passenger, Jeff Hunter - after his initial refusal to give his name and address to the cyclist, she then crossed a very murky line by pursuing Hunt and his companions and continuing to video them.
It is easy to imagine a scenario where a person makes an honest mistake in traffic and an overzealous cyclist and their camera stumbles into a situation someone does not want recorded.
Millions of people every day visit places they are not meant to be, escorting people they should not, doing things they’d probably not want videoed and then disseminated via the internet.
These are legitimate privacy concerns, one the rider in this incident obviously fully grasped by declining to identify herself in a subsequent media interview about her experience.
Wearable video-recording devices like GoPro cameras and Google Glass are only going to make these situations more common and, if users fail to use them diplomatically, they may well be documenting their way into the wrong side of a courtroom.