Cycle camera footage – a different kind of insurance

bicycle with action camera

Running a cycle camera on your handlebars or helmet doesn’t make the roads feel any safer, but you do almost immediately feel less helpless. In the event of a road traffic incident, video footage goes a long way towards guaranteeing legal redress – it’s a cycle insurance of sorts.

One of the great frustrations about cycling on British roads is the challenges caused by a lack of infrastructure are compounded by an absence of justice for vulnerable road users. We are one of the only countries in Europe to eschew something known as strict liability – a common sense law that makes motorists automatically liable for injuries caused to pedestrians and cyclists. The result for us is that court cases rest one person’s word against another – and given that pedestrians and cyclists are often injured in road traffic collisions, their recollection of events can be affected. And when you consider that legislators, the judiciary and jurors comprise almost exclusively of drivers and you begin to understand how the the cards are stacked against vulnerable road users. But now for the good news.

The Metropolitan Police is one of a number of forces that allows road users to upload camera footage when reporting a road traffic incident. The Met has already received over 20,000 submissions and around two thirds lead to action being taken. Such systems are a game changer for cyclists. Evidence of close passes, abusive drivers and collisions can all be passed to the police with the click of a mouse. One imagines the thousands of drivers who have already received penalty points following an online submission of camera footage will become more considerate and careful road users as a result.

How does the law regard cycle camera evidence?

Aside from the police portals designed specifically for the purpose, there is no reason why footage cannot be admitted as evidence like CCTV is used. It is likely that a witness statement would have to accompany the cycle camera footage and it would have to be downloaded to a CD with a certificate (countersigned by a solicitor) stating that it had not been altered in any way from its original digital format.

Cheap cycle cameras

There are a thousand and one different types of action camera on the market, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to spend a lot of money. The domination of the market by GoPro has inspired a host of Chinese competitors to follow suit. For example, the Akaso EK7000 is a 4K ultra high-definition action camera that shares more than a passing resemblance to a GoPro – even its various mounts are compatible. And while is doesn’t have a touch screen, it’s more than up to the job of recording the daily commute. Most importantly, it’s great value at less than £50 – a price that includes a case that’s waterproof to 30m and a bewildering array of mounts. The Akaso does a remarkably good job of capturing steady handlebar footage without the digital stabilisation offered by so many of its more expensive rivals.

We’ve been testing an Akaso action cam in the office and in the weeks to come we plan to chronicle the process of submitting footage to the police…given our collective experience of the daily cycle commute, it won’t be long before we capture a dangerously close overtake. In the meantime, we’re offering you the chance to win an Akaso EK7000 cycle camera.

Akaso action camera

Win your own cycle camera

To be in with a chance of winning  an Akaso EK7000 action camera and accessories, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this page and we’ll pick a winner next week.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, travel insurancebreakdown cover  and home insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

 

ETA cycle insurance

 

Comments

  1. Craig Scandrett

    Reply

    I used to run a Go Pro clone attached to my handlebars but found two problems:
    1 – judder from the road made the footage so shaky I’m fairly sure it would have been useless in the event of actually needing it for anything, and
    2 – the mount that attached it to the handlebars wasn’t strong enough. After a couple of weeks of commuting it broke, causing the camera to be run over and destroyed by a passing motor vehicle.
    Here’s hoping the Akaso and its mounts solve both of these problems!

    • The ETA

      Reply

      That’s interesting to hear, Craig. Judder doesn’t appear to a problem with the Akaso, other than on really poor surfaces. With regards to the mounting, we’ve mounted it to a handlebar stem that was too fat for the mount to accommodate so we ditched the bolts in favour of two cable ties.

  2. Robert O’Connor

    Reply

    Yes please!

    • Jim O’Sullivan

      Reply

      I would like this

  3. johnny faro

    Reply

    Brilliant, been looking to get one

  4. Jason

    Reply

    Fingers crossed

    • Jamie

      Reply

      Please please please!

  5. Anne

    Reply

    Sounds like a good idea, especially on my way to work when cars don’t stop at the red light on the shared bike/pedrestrian pelican crossing and people wander into the cycle path on their phines with headphones in without a care in the world…

  6. TheCyclist

    Reply

    For me to ride with this protection would be a super boon. So YES please to one for me.
    Thank you, kind sirs & ladies. XxX

  7. Wai

    Reply

    Great idea

  8. Roo Rider

    Reply

    Me and my boy would love one of these cameras to play with while he’s off school. We’re going to be making his third bike film. He has special needs so learns best from projects like this. Would be very useful to have.

    • Keith

      Reply

      I’m no Ken Loach but this would be great for filming.

  9. Ryan Kintas

    Reply

    I could do with this as too many close calls recently. I did have a contour foam but thing just shuts down when it felt like it.

  10. Gary Robinson

    Reply

    This looks the business.

  11. Jane Hellier

    Reply

    So much better than using a mobile phone!

  12. Stefan Thomas-Bache

    Reply

    Yes please

  13. Gary Baverstock

    Reply

    Fabulous! Love to win one of these.
    Cheers!
    Gary

  14. Claire

    Reply

    Good for filming the deserted streets on my 2 am self isolating rides!

  15. Roy Shearer

    Reply

    I am entering this competition.

  16. Jon Sparks

    Reply

    Looks good. Not that I’d expect anything else.

  17. Pete Hughes

    Reply

    Would love to have one of these

  18. Paul Austin

    Reply

    Looks good. This would be a great addition to my kit.

  19. Peter Clark

    Reply

    Amazing looking piece of kit

  20. Paul Wrigley

    Reply

    I’ve been thinking about getting one for quite a while – drivers up here (Yorkshire) pay little attention to cyclists.

  21. kath

    Reply

    I’d love to try one of these

    • Claire Desroches

      Reply

      Been back commuting on the bike for the first time this week and was just thinking I should really get a camera before I get into trouble…!

    • Alan Jones

      Reply

      Back in the distant past I had an HTC Hero in a special mount on my handle bars. I think technology might have improved since then… https://youtu.be/G52vgKrQTP8

  22. Willow Hall

    Reply

    Wow cannot put a price on safety having thus amazing piece of kit would be a godsend

  23. Lance Woodman

    Reply

    This would be great

  24. Dr John Heathcote

    Reply

    Useful to have evidence – one of those things that’s on my ‘not having got around to yet’ list.

    • Kate Oliver

      Reply

      Akaso to film a-kar-so close
      Protecting this Granny from becoming a ghost
      It would mean she could pedal
      For another medal
      With less fear of arriving on the side of the Styx
      Without clear proof of those dangerous dicks

  25. Pete Harrison

    Reply

    I cycle home in the late evening and am looking for a camera which can record number plates etc in the dark. Would the Akaso be a good option?

  26. John Holiday

    Reply

    Would be very useful on busy roads in North Wales.

  27. David Elphick

    Reply

    If you’re worried about camera judder then mount it to your cycle helmet instead, problem solved…

    And if you’re ever confronted by a road-rage motorist it will always point in the right direction to capture footage of the incident rather than just where your handlebars are pointing!

  28. Hedley

    Reply

    Count me in for the freebie !

    • sara garside

      Reply

      We would really love this.
      My husband is hoping to be back on a bike soon.
      He’s still recovering after being hit by a car in early December.
      The “poor girl” that turned into him got more sympathy from the police, if only he’d had proof he didn’t do anything wrong.

      • Craig

        Reply

        I’d like to ride with one of these for the reassurance it would give me. I would mount it to my helmet so it’s most visible and a warning to aggressive drivers that they’re being watched!

  29. Leon Xavier Finch

    Reply

    Would love to have one of these – could be the beginnings of BMX Bandits 2020…

  30. Wayne Fox

    Reply

    Invaluable given today’s poor roads, and drivers. Thanks for the kind offer, I’d love it!

  31. Merlin

    Reply

    I have cycled with a Camera for a few years now after being knocked off twice in a short period. Now I have it on my handlebars I haven’t but that’s not the point. I do feel slightly on edge when I know the battery has run out of it beeps because the memory and is full. Saying this I came off the other week when the handlebars snapped going down a hill. Went headfirst into the road and if I wasn’t wearing a helmet I would have been in big trouble. Needless to say, the cameras memory card was full and It didn’t get any footage.
    So FYI remember to charge it every night and delete any old footage.

  32. Shaun

    Reply

    Extra info:

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
    Dimensions: 60×41×30mm / 2.3×1.6×1.1″
    Weight: 74g / 2.6oz
    Field of View: 170°
    Video resolutions: 4K 25fps; 2.7K 30fps; 1080p 60/30fps; 720p 120/60/30fps
    Bitrate: 60Mbps
    Photo: 12MP
    Modes: Single Shot, Burst, Time-Lapse
    Features: WiFi, 2″ LCD screen, Remote Control
    Ports: MiniUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
    Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
    Battery life: 80 minutes of 1080p at 60fps

  33. Pamela

    Reply

    Would be useful on busy roads and on quiet lanes when traffic appears from nowhere.

  34. Russ Taylor

    Reply

    As a kid (long time ago) my cycle to school route was known as Juggernaut Alley due to the number of big artics that used it as a short cut. Thankfully on one side it had wide grass verge, which gave me an emergency escape route. Digital cameras didn’t exist back then, so no way of gathering any evidence, just drag the bike out of the grass and carry one.

    Many years later and my cycle to work route, whilst only about 1 ½ miles, is along a busy section of the A34 and I have had to develop my own ‘defensive cycling’ techniques to discourage cars and lorries from cutting me up. In the last 12 months I have had several close passes, one so close that I smacked their wing mirror as they passed. I have even invented a device that would mark the cars with spots of grease if they came too come too close, but haven’t found the time build the device.

    In the meantime, I would definitely appreciate being able to video the culprits and send the evidence to my local Police!

  35. Carol W

    Reply

    Lights…camera…action 🙂

  36. Lawrence Brunt

    Reply

    It would be very nice to win a camera like this for my bike.

  37. John England

    Reply

    I want it too please

  38. Andrew

    Reply

    Oh, you’re so cute

  39. Anthony Mack

    Reply

    Sadly I have had news of so many good friends and fellow cyclists that have been seriously injured by motorists with life changing injuries. In all cases the motorist have got away with it as being hit from behind and often no witnesses the cyclist cannot prove negligence. At least with a video the excuse that the cyclist swerved into their path etc wont wash. What would be really good if you could use it to point backwards as well as forwards. Well worth buying for peace of mind.

  40. Andrew

    Reply

    ETA setting the standard, not for the first time. This is a bit of kit that every cyclist needs to have – including me.

  41. Richard

    Reply

    I’ve been meaning to strap a camera on the mast of my whike sail bike to get a different perspective, this would be great for that.

  42. Steve K

    Reply

    Another really useful prize …

    • Toby James

      Reply

      Would love this. Have had too many accidents without proof. Fortunately most of the drivers have been good about it.

  43. Michael Barnes

    Reply

    What a tool to have in our crazy choked up roads, especially if every bike had one to deter other inconsiderate road users.

  44. Donald Waters

    Reply

    Never considered using one of these but after reading I definitely would

  45. Gary

    Reply

    Another fantastic give away !
    Of course I’d like it…..it would be great to have record of my commute and also my long ride outs – apart from the poor behaviour from some car drivers there have been some great moments in the past that I’d wished I’d got on film 😉

  46. Raf

    Reply

    This will be great for recording eerie movies of the deserted streets of London over the next few months!

  47. Geoff Wiles

    Reply

    We need to gather evidence to stop the carnage on our roads. World Health Organisation figures are around 1.25 million killed on the worlds roads every year. Add to that figure the serious life changing injuries. Total casualties in the UK are in excess of 185,000 / year. The response to covid-19 shows what could be done with political will.

  48. David Gray

    Reply

    …but it won’t watch my back will it?

  49. Jill M

    Reply

    A useful bit of kit. As a ride leader I could record our group rides for fun and training purposes. Not forgetting the more depressing uses such as recording bad driving.

  50. Jim Woodlingfield

    Reply

    That would be an amazing addition to the cycling kit.

  51. Paul Elmer

    Reply

    Really useful – even if the roads are a bit quiet these days, let’s hope for better times.

  52. Lucy

    Reply

    Give it to the kid with special needs whose dad wrote in – all parents coping at home with the virus conditions of shut down need our help!

  53. Terry John Smith

    Reply

    It’s free to enter,and win a 4K prize.cant be bad.

  54. Dave Brabants

    Reply

    I can film all the potholes as stunning video rather than logging each one as a still picture

  55. Mark Severs

    Reply

    Video footage is useful to prove that the bike rider did no wrong in an incident. Using it for prosecuting dangerous drivers is very variable, however, depending on which bit of the UK you are.

    West Yorkshire police, especially Leeds, work hard at not accepting video footage from anyone for road crime. West Midlands police are the very opposite, and go out of their way to ram home the message of safe driving.

  56. Brian D

    Reply

    Hopefully this will improve driving behaviour.

  57. Tom White

    Reply

    This is definitely something that I have been considering getting. Roads in North Yorkshire aren’t too desperate but every now and then I get carved up especially on roundabouts. Scary!

  58. Vic Kearley

    Reply

    Great product, post corona, but with unnecessary travel banned fro the time being, not sure when I will get to use it.

  59. Gavin

    Reply

    … it comes to something that as a society we’ve now got to carry, in effect, CCTV to secure any chance of a prosecution when a motorist mows you down, cuts you up etc.

  60. John Mullen

    Reply

    I have been thinking of buying one for the usual reasons so will try this first !

  61. Mark Bobbitt

    Reply

    Sadly these are becoming more of a necessity now with more and more careless and downright dangerous drivers. Let’s get shopping them!

  62. Tim Earl

    Reply

    Would be great to have. I bought a cheap one and the uploads couldn’t be opened by the police.

  63. Les Gunbie

    Reply

    Lights … helmet … action!

  64. PeteG

    Reply

    Just like having a guardian angel looking after you. There are times when only video evidence will do.

  65. Tom O Toole

    Reply

    Nice piece of kit!

  66. Andy G

    Reply

    Great idea to ensure footage of any incidents

  67. Darron Hawkins

    Reply

    Yes please, thankfully the last time I got knocked off there was a police officer on the other side of the road and witnessed it so all was settled amicably, with one of these I can at least ride with a little more piece of mind.

  68. Mike G

    Reply

    One of those things you hope you’re never going to need but you’re glad you have, just in case..
    Yes please, put me in the draw!

  69. Rory Harkins

    Reply

    I’d love one.

  70. Alan Donnelly

    Reply

    Seeing is believing…

  71. Kevin Morris

    Reply

    Love mountain biking and would love to be able to video my rides and help if I was ever involved in an accident

  72. Richard Newman

    Reply

    Akaso close! Hope it got picked up by the camera.

  73. robert p Griffiths-garrod

    Reply

    Yes please – been thinking of getting one for ages, but funds are low.

  74. Steve Green

    Reply

    What a great prize!

  75. Richard Catarino

    Reply

    Great stuff. I’ll be checking my letter box more often from next week ..one good excuse to get out of my flat during the confinement lol

  76. Howard Woods

    Reply

    You might not know where you are, but at least you can see where you have been

  77. Katie G

    Reply

    Perfect attached to the rear of my tag a long,to keep tailgaters off my rear wheel.

  78. Huw Thomas

    Reply

    Just missed by cars too many times recently. Very useful.

  79. Ema

    Reply

    Good to use for evidence when riding around

  80. Alan Jones

    Reply

    Back in the distant past I had an HTC Hero in a special mount on my handle bars. I think technology might have improved since then… https://youtu.be/G52vgKrQTP8

  81. Chris

    Reply

    Great idea – yes please

  82. Darren C

    Reply

    I’m using an Argos £15 version – the picture quality isn’t brilliant, even 720 is reality up-scaled! and the sound is almost non-existent.
    I found that instead of mounting like in the top picture in the article above, I have removed the centre riser, which rotates the clamp 90 degree’s and used it around the bar stem and have it hanging below the handlebars, this not only prevents juddering but is also less conspicuous. As there is a setting to record upside-down it works well.
    In the future I would definitely like to upgrade to one of better quality, (wink, wink).

  83. John

    Reply

    I’d like one!

  84. Karl Wallendszus

    Reply

    There have been a few occasions when I’ve wished I’d had one of these, both to record “incidents” on the road and to film scenic videos.

  85. Philip Benson

    Reply

    Great idea!

  86. Harry Cripps

    Reply

    The more drivers are aware of bike cameras the more they will treat cyclists with respect. In these Covid19 times fewer cyclists being hospitalised is more important than ever.

  87. Paul Hubert

    Reply

    Apart from all the near misses, I’ve been knocked off by heedless pedestrians on cycle routes and hit by a driver whose car windows were steamed up crossing the centre line. The police weren’t interested at all, I couldn’t claim on my then insurance (damage to my bike below the excess) and the driver denied my version of events when I tried to claim from her. A record would certainly help!

  88. Andy

    Reply

    I’d like to try this

  89. Carol

    Reply

    One of these was on my Xmas wish list. However, unfortunately, Santa didn’t bring me one. Perhaps he’ll come late this year…?

  90. Graham Corfield

    Reply

    These are a super tool, essential in the event of an accident!! Fingers crossed.

  91. Chris Laming

    Reply

    Good and useful information in the article. Copied and saved it for future reference.

  92. Iain Shanks

    Reply

    Would like one of these 🙂

  93. Craig

    Reply

    I’d like to ride with one of these for the reassurance it would give me. I would mount it to my helmet so it’s most visible and a warning to aggressive drivers that they’re being watched!

  94. Mark

    Reply

    My son has a camera on his helmet and it works well enough. I think they’re a great idea.

    THANKS TO ETA.

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