London bike commuter and action camera user CycleGaz has posted a video to his YouTube channel that brings together all the reports he made to the Metropolitan Police in 2018 and provides a compelling answer to the question of why cyclists record footage of their rides.
Writing on his Croydon Cyclist blog after receiving the final update on the last two cases this week, Gaz revealed that he had submitted 65 videos to the Met during 2018.
Of those, 23 resulted in no action being taken, while two motorists received warning letters and nine were given driver awareness courses.
But 11 received fixed penalty notices and 20 went to court, which Gaz said resulted in a total of 151 points being issued on driving licences, fines adding up to £11,834 and one driver being banned for six months.
Running to more than half an hour, the compilation video reveals the regular danger from motorists that someone simply trying to get to and from work on two wheels faces on London's roads.
“A lot of my reports in 2018 was me testing the waters to see what they would and what they wouldn’t take action on,” Gaz said.
“It certainly isn’t clear from some of them where this boundary is.
“Similar offences aren’t always treated the same, and in the cases where near identical incidences have had action taken, they won’t use that as a reason to take action.”
Gaz added that more than 10,000 reports were submitted to the Met through its system in 2018, meaning that his accounted for less than 1 per cent of the total.
“If my reports are generating 151 points issued and more than £11,000 in fines, then what else is being achieved at the moment by the other reports?” he asked.
“Hopefully with each successful report, a person learns that they need to drive safely on our roads.”
We’re aware through what many readers who submit videos to our Near Miss of the Day feature tell us that one reason cyclists decide to start recording their journeys is to provide evidence of poor or dangerous driving, especially if they get knocked off their bike, and Gaz is no exception.
“I started filming in late 2009, I was hit off my bike on the way home from work one evening in 2009,” he explained. “The police attended, as did an ambulance.
“However, it was my word against the driver, so no action was taken. Only a handful of people were filming back then.”
In his post, Gaz recounts how the method of reporting videos to the Met has evolved – at one point, the process became so cumbersome, he stopped doing it for a while – but the current process gets a thumbs-up from him.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.