Helmet cams capture near-collisions between cyclists, motorists

A growing number of Sudbury cyclists are filming their bike rides as a way document their scary run-ins with cars and trucks.

Sudbury cyclists and police say cameras records proof that some drivers won't share the road.

Patrick Blouin and Jamie Lamothe trek around Sudbury on their bikes, often to their peril, they say. Wearing a helmet-mounted camera and recording their rides can possible capture video evidence that can be used in court, police say. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

A growing number of Sudbury cyclists are filming their bike rides as a way to document their scary run-ins with cars and trucks.

A new video was posted online over the weekend, showing a Sudbury cyclist in a close call with a transport truck — and members of a Sudbury biking group says the footage illustrates the dangers they face in the city.

Jamie Lamothe, a Sudbury cyclist who teaches defensive biking skills, said these videos are a symptom of a cyclist's fear.

“It's a sad state of affairs when cyclists have put cameras on their bikes as the one means that they think they can take to show people what's actually happening to them on the roads,” he said.

He noted it's important cyclists realize that having cameras won't necessarily make them safer.

Cyclist Patrick Blouin agreed.

At least with a camera you have something.- Sudbury cyclist Patrick Blouin

When he first started wearing a camera on his bike helmet, he was one of a few cyclists in Sudbury doing it.

He's been posting video online for two years showing his commute to work and his rides around the city — including being narrowly missed by passing vehicles on multiple occasions.

Since the videos have been published online, he's received countless messages from other cyclists asking where they can get a camera like his.

“Most people in Sudbury [approach the issue] from a motorist’s point of view. They won’t believe you. They won’t understand,” he said.

“At least with a camera you have something.”

The videos could also help police.

Sudbury police staff sergeant Robin Tiplady said the video could potentially be used in court “if the video shows a clear violation of the highway traffic act or the criminal code.”

But Tiplady cautioned that using a camera doesn’t guarantee motorists will be more careful around cyclists.

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