A new study reveals that relations between drivers and cyclists are at an all-time low as cyclists increasingly where helmet-mounted cameras depicting the daily dangers they face on Britainâ€™s roads.
According to the study social media sites, such as Twitter and YouTube, are flooded with videos recorded by cyclists showing scenarios that include cyclists being dangerously cut-up, knocked off their bicycles and even physically attacked by irritated drivers.
Many of the videos record car number plates and provide facial recognition evidence of drivers involved in incidents impacting cyclists. It is these recordings that have angered drivers who feel that cyclists have no legal right to record the material without consent. Furthermore, they have criticised cyclists for failing to record cyclists who flout road traffic laws.
The fight for road supremacy between car drivers and cyclists is a long running-saga, but tensions have now reached critical levels according to the results of the latest study.
In a statement from Kah Chan, a behavioural expert at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, he said: â€œThe cameras could be further antagonising the two groups. The videos often fail to provide any context to incidents and overwhelmingly present motorists in a negative light.â€
Evidence would suggest that drivers agree with Chanâ€™s analysis, with many vehicle owners claiming that cyclists make drivers out to be the enemy, yet theyâ€™re the ones running red lights, switching from road to pavement or vice versa, without warning, thatâ€™s what causes accidents.
Mr Chan commented further: â€œThe 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?â€
He added: â€œSome cyclists can, in fact, become quite aggressive with the cameras, especially when they have been in an altercation and consequently feel threatened.â€
He continued: â€œWhen you are the minority on the road, these discriminatory actions do not help. I propose that if the use of cameras in a negative or aggressive sense continues, we cannot expect improvements in general inter-modal discourse.â€
The new camera technology was recently used by gold medal-winning cyclist, Chris Boardman, as a means of raising awareness regarding the lack of cycle lanes in preparation for a parliamentary inquiry into biking.
It would appear that the technology is already having an impact with evidence from a cyclistâ€™s camera, which was posted on YouTube, used by West Midlands Police to caution a van driver after he assaulted a cyclist.
Cyclists feel compelled to wear the cameras as it emerged that 122 cyclists died on Britainâ€™s roads in 2012, representing a 14% increase on death tolls for 2011.