It is becoming a growing practice for cyclists to wear head-mounted video cameras on their commutes in California and around the country. Wearing a camera can offer a cyclist extra protection in the case of an accident with a motor vehicle. Reviewing the recording after a bicycle accident can help discover what or who caused the accident. If a driver leaves the scene of the bicycle accident, the recording can help to find the driver. These cameras work like the "black boxes" in planes that help investigators figure out why a crash occurred after the fact.
When a driver knocked down two cyclists outside Berkeley, the cyclists were able to review the recording in their head-mounted video camera and find a license plate number for the driver who assaulted them. Law enforcement officers later found the driver and are investigating the incident.
Other drivers have been caught elsewhere in the country and charged with hit-and-run after leaving the scene of bicycle accidents. Some videos of drivers assaulting or harassing bicyclists have been watched by thousands of people after being posted to YouTube.
As motorists become more aware of the practice of cyclists to wear video cameras, they make think better of harassing cyclists since the behavior could later be viewed by their boss, family or the police. So, the video cameras work to help prevent violent confrontation as much as they might help police find a suspect or a cyclist prove fault following an accident or assault.
Source: The New York Times, "Cameras Are Cyclists' 'Black Boxes' in Accidents," Nick Wingfield, July 20, 2012