For the last few weeks I have been commuting with a small camera fixed to my helmet (have I at last found a useful purpose for a helmet?). For less than the cost or inconvenience or discomfort of a helmet, I can gather some evidence of the very poor driving that goes on around me.
Of course it cuts both ways and in the (I like to think incredibly unlikely) event that I were to cycle dangerously and, for instance, bowl into a pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing the evidence would be there to convict me. I wish all motor vehicles carried some form of tamper proof visual and/or other record of how they were being driven.
I used the camera recently to demonstrate how I tackle dual carriageways. Of course things do not always work out smoothly. Here is an example, in the same location, of a large van coming straight at me, initially I move out further but then I am forced to the side of the road. Riding as I do, I run virtually no risk of not being noticed but I do have to react smartly to drivers like this.
Yesterday I am fairly sure the existance of my camera, once spotted, saved me from a potentially threatening situation. (Forgive my uncharacteristic expletive at the beginning - the adreneline flows when a car gets a few inches behind and honks).
I try to post incidents of good as well as bad driving but sadly there is far more that is noticeably bad than noticeably good out there.
In cases of bad driving if I can identify an employer I will contact them, as I have found that effective in the past. I have given on this blog an example of Royal Mail but I have also in the last few days contacted AXA Insurance (Rescue24) and Tellings Golden Miller (buses).
I am grateful for the comment that pointed me towards the metropolitan police site at www.met.police.uk/roadsafelondon. I could swamp them with reports but will instead try to reserve for them the worst examples. My commute actually takes me through Berkshire (Thames Valley Police), Surrey (Surrey police) and London (Metropolitan Police). Surrey has a site to report bad driving at http://www.drivesmartsurrey.org.uk/ and I have reported the white van on there.
After the initial sample I do not intend to overburden this blog with video footage. Far more can be found on Youtube where I post under the name 'Givecyclistsroom'. Even this is a mere selection as it takes time to select and upload footage. I am thinking of adopting the approach of emperors at the Roman arena and reporting those which outside observers consider bad - so if you so think please make a comment.
Finally is some of this aggressive bad driving a response to the way I ride? I have discussed this here previously. I have finally reached the top of a waiting list for cycle training and have a couple of hours booked for later this month. I will be sure to raise road positioning and defusing driver aggression with my instructor.