How Bike Cameras Can Help Cyclists

Have you been thinking about getting a camera for your bike but don’t know which one to buy?

Check out these bike camera reviews on CyclingTips.com and learn the value of video footage in collision investigations and court cases according to #TheCyclistLawyer:

“Most law enforcement offices I’ve talked with say this evidence is hugely helpful to them in their collision investigation so long as footage does show the face of the driver. Of course, any other info like the car make/model/plates and the location, timestamps, etc all play a role in the investigation as well. But imagine a collision with no witnesses and a cyclist who is knocked unconscious… the video can be so powerful. It can make the case.”


I recently got the following note:

“Megan, we met several times at different lectures. It’s always reassuring to know you have cyclists back. My question is more for my information and if ever needed your benefit.

Concerning riding with a GoPro. If I have only one camera to use while riding which mounting do you find most useful in court – 1) back view of the bike from the seat post, 2) front view of the bike on the handle bars, or 3) front view of the bike on the rider’s helmet?

Also, I’m wondering if you have any feedback on having the camera on the back – will motorists see it there and tend to think twice before passing the rider?

In this day and age I don’t believe you can have enough leverage in a dispute.

Thanks for your time – I hope to never need your services. Sounds weird.”

Great questions. Let’s discuss the placement of the camera if a rider only has one, and cannot place both a front-racing and rear-facing camera. (Because yes, two cameras can be quite expensive).

There is no truly right or wrong answer to this question, it’s more a strategic decision by the rider. Based on our firm’s caseload over the years, the vast majority of cases we handle are of three types (which also jive with the state and national bike crash stats):

  1. Motorist makes left turn directly in front of/into the oncoming cyclist (failure to yield on left turn)
  2. Motorist makes right turn from a position parallel to the cyclist, either into the bike or directly in front of the cyclist (right hook)
  3. Motorist strikes cyclist from behind/side swipes cyclist from behind (does not allow proper passing distance/3 feet/fails to see cyclist at all/impaired/distracted driving)

 

Complete post from Roadbikereview.com here

Check out these bike camera reviews on CyclingTips.com

When is it Legal to Ride Bikes Two Abreast?

Golden’s Cyclist-Lawyer Megan Hottman explains the often-confusing question, When is it OK for cyclists to ride side-by-side and when is it advised to ride single file?

Originally published in Road Bike Review

 

Drivers get mad when cyclists ride side-by-side, but what does the law say

A friendly bike educator sent me the following inquiry:

“Hi, Megan: We have been teaching the Bicycle Friendly Driver course to hundreds of people in Northern Colorado and it has been really well received. A student in a class the other day brought up a point about side-by-side riding. He went away and did some research and then wrote the following to me. I’m hoping you might be able to provide some clarification so that we are providing accurate information.

Here’s what the student wrote:
-One of the behaviors cyclists do that upsets car drivers the most is riding side-by-side. I felt the way this was conveyed in the class was a bit confusing and might fuel the contention.

-What I heard you say was that if cyclists are being overtaken by faster traffic, they need to ride single-file.

– What I learned was that if cyclists were impeding the flow of traffic from behind by riding side-by-side, they needed to merge into single-file. In other words, if there is a clear view ahead to allow cars to stray out of their lane to give a pair of cyclists a minimum of three feet, then it was okay to ride side-by-side.

-In reading the Colorado statute it says, “Persons riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.”

I’m not sure what that means. If one cyclist is on the shoulder and their buddy riding next to them is just inside the traffic lane, are they riding within a single lane? When is it okay to ride side-by-side?

First let’s start with an analysis of Colorado’s statute and its actual language. We don’t get to question why the legislature does what it does, we have to live with the actual words contained in the law. Often, a strict reading of the law can provide answers, but not always.

C.R.S. 42-4-1412(6) addresses when cyclists may ride two abreast:

(a) Persons riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(b) Persons riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

Reading the two sections together, I conclude the following:

-Cyclists may not ride MORE than 2 abreast, unless they are somewhere exclusively for bikes, which would really only be a bike lane. Anywhere else, two-wide is the absolute legal max.

-Cyclists may only ride two abreast IF they are not impeding the normal/reasonable movement of traffic. If the cyclists riding two abreast ARE impeding traffic, the implication here is that they ride single file.

Read the full article