Helmet-cam captures drivers at their worst

Cyclist 'names and shames' on video website

by Tom Henry   January 13, 2010  

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Road.cc regular Joby Spragg has hit the national headlines for his 'name and shame' website which features the antics of bad drivers caught on a helmet-cam.

Joby, 33, of Hyde, has been cut up, clipped and forced off the road by hostile motorists. Although he's written to some of their employers to complain, he's received little in reponse.

Joby, who posts regularly on road.cc as 'jobysp' has fitted a tiny camera to his helmet and posts his experiences of cycle commuting in Greater Manchester on his website, www.fightbaddriving.co.uk 

By posting their antics on the internet Joby hopes to name and shame drivers and force his local council to make cyclists' journeys to work safer.

Already he has filmed a bus driver jumping a red light, a mini-bus parking illegally in his cycling lane and a BMW car cutting across him to avoid heavy traffic.

Joby told theDaily Mail that he didn't want people to get convicted, or to lose their licences - "I just want people to realise how they are driving and how dangerous it is for cyclists," he said.

"A lot of drivers just seem to think cyclists don't pay road tax so they don't pay any attention to us. But I also put cyclists that break the law onto the website, because it's not fair to only target drivers - not all cyclists are good either.

"The highway code says that if you are over-taking a cyclist you have to be at least three feet away, but people don't, especially at this time of year - people just want to get home from work. In the summer, people seem to be more relaxed.

"I just want to highlight to people how terrible some driving is, and to shock people and teach them to be better drivers. There are lots of selfish drivers out there who risk their own lives and others just to take a few seconds off their journey."

Joby began cycling to the 13 miles to work in Manchester city centre from his home a year ago to lose weight through the Cycle to Work scheme. It didn't take him long to realise how dangerous the roads could be.

He said: "The first time I went out, I had to bump up onto the pavement a lot because the driving was so scary and because I wasn't that confident.

"But as I got more confident and was using the road more, I was becoming more of a target for people that don't like cyclists.

"They drive in cycle lanes, they drive over cycle lanes, they drive at you, they drive within an inch of you and then when you confront them they tell you to pay your road tax and get off your bike.' "

Joby wants a permanent camera to be installed at Denton roundabout, the black spot of his journey, to prevent a fatal accident.

A Tameside council spokesman said: 'We have not yet heard from Mr Spragg but if he hands over any material he gets as part of his investigations we are more than happy to take a look at it.'

 

11 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I'm slightly weirded out by the positive tone of the daily mail article! Doesn't refer to him as a freeloading lycra lout once! Thinking

Start Cycle Commuting. Write off your car!

posted by step.doran [71 posts]
13th January 2010 - 13:23

5 Likes

LOL - I don't wear Lycra in this weather anyway Smile

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
13th January 2010 - 13:24

5 Likes

Oh, and on a side note - Tameside Council "have" heard from me and told me they could do nothing about it and told me to contact the Highways Agency.

Highways Agency told me to contact A-One+

A-One+ told me to contact a department of the Highways Agency (although they are much more helpful than the rest).

You can see a pattern emerging?

AND ITS NOT SECRET FILMING.

I don't hide the camera - it sticks out of my helmet and is very noticeable!

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
13th January 2010 - 13:26

8 Likes

I am sure we could all capture antics of this nature on our ride to work, I know I rant on a regular basis about some inconsiderate nincompoop Wink I also notice a lot of considerate drivers out there, people who wait for you to overtake the parked car before they go past and people who give you more than enough room. But, well done you for making people take notice! I am sure most people think we are just whinging cyclists but when it is presented in such a format - there is no dispute

Rode the E'Tape Caledonia - first sportiv ever and thoroughly enjoyed it

badbunny's picture

posted by badbunny [71 posts]
13th January 2010 - 13:40

5 Likes

Every considerate driver on my journey gets a thumbs up and a thanks - especially if they've done something they don't or didn't need to.

I've had plenty of drivers flash lights / hazards in acknowledgment of this - and surprisingly - a couple of bus drivers too Smile

Unfortunately, the site dwells on the negatives of road use and am expecting an avalanche of hate mail for sure, but if it wasn't bad - there would be nothing to write about, and the Daily Mail wouldn't be running a story about it Smile

(Telegraph should be doing one too!)

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
13th January 2010 - 13:59

4 Likes

Quote:
There are lots of selfish drivers out there who risk their own lives and others just to take a few seconds off their journey.

This is what I really cannot understand. The days I have to ride through town it often seems to mean they join the back of a queue a few seconds earlier, which is even more ridiculous.

Like badbunny, I have to say that the majority of drivers around Shrewsbury are pretty good. Many seem quite patient and move out to give me a reasonable amount of room. But there are some that just don't care.

Keep recording Joby. Name & shame. BTW the Highway Code doesn't say 3 feet, it states:

"Give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car." (Link)

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2231 posts]
13th January 2010 - 16:11

6 Likes

Simon E - cheers. Your right about Highway Code but a few things have been newspaperified too Smile (Although I did say 3ft as I had the 3ft to pass campaign in my head!)

Am now on The Suns website to:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2806545/Cyclist-snares-careles...

Some crackingly useless comments from "drivers"

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
13th January 2010 - 16:49

1 Like

Very interesting - curious why the cops can't use the video as giving sufficient evidence for each offending driver to receive a caution? Video evidence wouldn't stand up in court but it'd be acceptable for a caution I reckon. The traffic police should be able to do something, unless they're too busy repairing speed cameras?

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2468 posts]
14th January 2010 - 0:28

3 Likes

I suppose its very easy to tamper with video evidence - changing plates and stuff.

Blame Spielberg

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
14th January 2010 - 10:05

5 Likes

I wouldn't be able to do this in Cambridge; if I stopped to take a photo of every car blocking a cycle lane, parked on double yellows, behaving inconsiderately, acting like a fool, on the phone in congestion, ... I wouldn't get to college until about noon. There was one taxi driver a couple of weeks ago who stopped on double yellows, got out and went to get a bloody pie for breakfast.

Kevin Steinhardt's picture

posted by Kevin Steinhardt [30 posts]
15th January 2010 - 19:19

5 Likes

I think I feel a contribution to your site coming on.......

TiNuts's picture

posted by TiNuts [95 posts]
16th January 2010 - 10:28

4 Likes