Smiley & Smiley, LLP

Should you use a bike camera on your commute?

The streets of New York City are chaotic to say the least. Although roads in the city are primarily designed for use by cars, trucks and other motorized vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists need to travel within this framework as well.

Unfortunately, NYC streets are often a hostile environment for people trying to pedal their way through the crowds, and bicycle accidents are common. Adding insult to injury is the fact that bicycle and pedestrian accidents are rarely given the kind of intensive and thorough investigations they deserve by law enforcement officer.

For all these reasons and more, a growing number of urban bicyclists are now investing in small video cameras that can easily be mounted to a helmet or a bike’s handlebars. The idea is that by recording their commutes every day, bicyclists may ultimately record the evidence they need to pursue either criminal charges or a personal injury lawsuit if they are seriously injured in a crash with a car or truck.

Video technology continues to become more sophisticated and less expensive. As such, a reliable and lightweight camera can be found for between $100 and $300. In light of the safety benefits, the cost is well worth it for many bicyclists.

Whether it records the entire accident or just the license plate of a hit-and-run driver, the investment in a “bike cam” might just pay for itself. Don’t be surprised if these devices soon find their way onto the helmets of most serious bicyclists in New York City.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Cyclists strapping on 'bike cams' for commutes,” Naheed Rajwani, Feb. 25, 2014

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