Are GoPro cameras useful to get insurance convictions?
GoPro cameras have been a favourite for adrenaline junkies and extreme sports fans for a while now. They are responsible for many of the world’s best snowboarding, skateboarding and even downhill biking action videos, but now they are being used in a different manner.
There are many occasions when we wish that we had a camera handy, and as cyclists, thi number of occasions is much greater. Cycling on Britain’s streets leaves us open to many dangerous situations and some of the things that we see with our own eyes can be, at times, beyond belief.
A 2009 report commissioned from the Transport Research Laboratory by the Department for Transport, found that in three in four incidents involving a cyclist and a motor vehicle, the driver was to blame, and in one in four the cyclist was struck from behind.
A new trend that is hitting Britain’s streets is the helmet camera – such as the GoPro camera. The camera, which is typically, attached to the cyclist’s helmet records everything that the cyclist sees, including accidents, and good and bad drivers – as well as recording the actions of the cyclist themselves.
A GoPro camera can be extremely valuable to prove the actions of those involved in accidents and incidents on our roads, both when dealing with the Police and insurance claims. It is not only valuable for accidents, but also in other incidents such as road rage.
There have been a rising number of incidents when footage recorded on helmet cameras have been used in convictions and insurance claims. Although valuable, however, it seems that this footage is most valuable being used supporting other evidence.
A cyclist in Essex, for example, has used his helmet camera to get 60 motorists convicted of motoring offences, or receiving a police caution by offering evidence to the Police. Another cyclist in Birmingham managed to get a motorist convicted after using footage from his helmet camera to prove that the road rage incident actually occurred – after the Police initially decided to take no further action.
Using a GoPro Camera for Insurance Claims
If you decide that you want to use a helmet or GoPro camera to record incidents when you are cycling, there are a few things that you should take into account.
- When you are choosing your helmet camera, think about the conditions that you will be using it in – it should be waterproof, an windproof and you may want to think about other extreme weather conditions.
- Some helmet mounted cameras can give a poor quality of video. Check the quality of the video that you are recording to ensure that enough detail is shown to be allowed to use as evidence.
- Check the amount of time that the camera will record before needing re-charging. Ensure that this amount of time is longer than your typical route which you want to record.
- Remember that as well as recording what other road users are doing, the helmet camera will also be recording you!
Although a helmet camera such as a GoPro camera can be extremely useful in recording incidents which happen, footage cannot be completely relied on. It is far better to avoid incidents altogether by cycling safely, staying patient and trying to avoid problems.