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Those who roll with cameras - What have you shared with law enforcement?

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Those who roll with cameras - What have you shared with law enforcement?

Old 09-13-11, 08:14 PM
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Shytheed Dumas
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Those who roll with cameras - What have you shared with law enforcement?

I've been thinking about a bike cam for my commute and thought more about it this morning after an aggressive driver with anger issues blasted his horn at me and passed too close for the whopping 20 seconds it took for him to get around me. The whole idea of mounting a camera gets me wondering what's worth turning over to law enforcement and what just takes a thicker skin.

So how about posting up any vids that you sent to law enforcement and what came of it if you know. Maybe post up one you considered sending in.
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Old 09-14-11, 03:43 AM
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Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have assumed anything, so let me re-ask the question: Exactly why do you use a camera?

In Louisville it seems like there are a few specific areas of town that are more bike tolerant, and then there's the rest of town, in particular part of my commute, and I'm trying to decide what the real value of equipping my bike with cameras is
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Old 09-14-11, 05:00 PM
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I am sure the Law Enforcement folks will get right on it... If you are having a problem at a particular spot with a particular driver, let the police know and they will typically patrol that area. As far as then doing something based on a commuters camera, I would not be as hopeful. Besides, as unfortunate as it is, blowing the horn, squealing the tires, and passing close are not against the law. Annoying yes, against the law no...

I vote for thicker skin....
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Old 09-14-11, 10:40 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/user/WellingtonBikeCam01

plenty of stupidity documented, and i'm currently getting a feel for what the police will/won't can/can't take action on.

here in NZ, the law requires an overtaking vehicle to pass safely and considerately, and also to not turn in front of the slower vehicle until completing the pass. what this means in practice: unless i get hit, the police can't/won't file charges for unsafe passing: the current passing law is too subjective for them to issue tickets. the local SGT who oversees traffic complaints considers this type of complaint a waste of police resources and he's advised me to NOT file formal complaints on that basis. instead, he advises that i use a less formal system to report bad drivers: that results in a form-letter being sent to the owner of the vehicle, and i'm told that multiple complaints in that system will attract attention from the police.

he suggested only filing formal complaints involving a clear and blatant infraction, so he can issue tickets that won't result in a judge laughing at the prosecutor and the prosecutor laughing at him. i'm now considering close-passing as a legislative problem, not an enforcement problem.

in a recent case which is still pending (i can post a direct link after the case wraps up), someone cut me off and i thought the police might issue a ticket for illegal lane change. instead, he told the cop that he didn't see anyone on a bike (after the cop watched the video and commented that i was obviously lit up like a christmas tree) so the cop gave him a careless driving ticket.

without video, what can we reasonably expect a cop to do when someone on a bike says that a car cut him off, and the car's driver says he's sure there wasn't even a bike there? hint: nothing.

i recently got first-person video of a collision. the driver will probably just say he didn't see me, or i swerved in front of him, or i hit him... without video, any of those statements by the motorist would END the investigation without any further action. i'd get a call from the police telling me to "be more careful next time" and that would be it. with video, i'm confident that he'll be charged with "careless driving" and hopeful that he'll be charged with "dangerous driving", and maybe even lose his license on the spot.

basically, video ups the ante from "your word against theirs" to "what really happened". 99% of the time, the other party (whether you're on a bike or in a car) will give a very detailed explanation of why it's your fault and they didn't do anything wrong. video is a game-changer.
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Old 09-15-11, 12:07 AM
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I ride with a camera for three reasons:

1. Entertainment via sharing the videos.
2. In case I am killed, there might be enough evidence to find the person that killed me.
3. In case I am in an accident, I can use the footage in a civil case.

I don't bother showing any footage to the police because they don't care unless I'm laid up in the hospital or dead.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Joemess View Post
I am sure the Law Enforcement folks will get right on it... If you are having a problem at a particular spot with a particular driver, let the police know and they will typically patrol that area. As far as then doing something based on a commuters camera, I would not be as hopeful. Besides, as unfortunate as it is, blowing the horn, squealing the tires, and passing close are not against the law. Annoying yes, against the law no...

I vote for thicker skin....
What part of Louisville are you worried about?
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Old 09-15-11, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SactoDoug View Post

I don't bother showing any footage to the police because they don't care unless I'm laid up in the hospital or dead.
Have you tried? I've actually found the LAPD to be surprisingly responsive and helpful (even without video). I guess what I'm saying is don't dismiss the option unless you've tried it (which you very well may have already done for all I know)
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Old 09-15-11, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
What part of Louisville are you worried about?
The worst road has been Arnoldtown Rd, but Blanton, St Andrews Church and old 3rd are pretty rough, too - lots of passing that is dangerous for me as well as oncoming traffic and aggressive drivers too happy to let you know how much they hate being slowed down by a bike.

I live in the Highview area and commute to Rubbertown. If I could just get to the airport I could take Crittenden around it and pick up several bike routes, but from where I'm at that requires using Fern Valley Rd or even Outer Loop - neither are good options at all. The next best option is to ride a few miles up just as heavily travelled Shepherdsville Rd to Rangeland and ride through the Newburg area, and since my job requires me to ride unarmed, I haven't really considered that option. Tomorrow I'm going to add yet another 1.5 miles and ride to Fairdale, 2.5 miles up New Cut and then ride residential streets and Iroqouis Park all they way. New Cut may be just as bad, and I will now be adding 8 full miles round trip just to try and stay on bike friendlier streets...

There is just no good bike route from Highview/Okolona to any other part of the city that I can find, but I'm working on it. Any other options I haven't considered?

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Old 09-15-11, 08:24 PM
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That's a long haul through a lot of different neighborhoods. Carry a big stick.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:37 PM
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I carry an open assist Kershaw knife, fwiw... Most neighborhoods are safe enough, and I'm more worried about heavily travelled narrow roads and distracted/aggressive drivers. A good bike lane down Fern Valley RD or a good alternate route would take care of most of my worries.
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