If collisions amidst bicycles and vehicles were somehow recorded, would we be able to not only prevent them more efficiently but encourage drivers and bicyclists alike to be more aware?
This is not a new question for any bicyclist, especially those who have ever passed by or—even more emotionally challenging—set up a Ghost Bike in honor of those killed on their bikes by oncoming vehicles. But this concern takes new heights within Australian bicyclists Andrew Hagen and Kingsley Fiegert, who are attempting to increase bicycle safety through the eyes of Big Brother: attaching a mini-HD video camera to the rear light on bicycles in a project known as Fly6.
“The motorists becoming aware is a big-picture thing,” said Hagen. “We thought that over time, the media will run news stories where accidents happen… With the incidents being caught on camera, the hope is to raise the awareness of cyclists as vulnerable road users.”
The pair’s ultimate hope is that when motorists see the light on—meaning the camera is on—day or night, they will become more aware.
Hagen’s projection wasn’t far off: after they let loose 150 5th generation prototypes of Fly6 across Australia during a trial run, one of the videos uploaded by a bicyclist—road rage becomes honk rage as a motorist holds down his horn for nearly a minute while tailgating a bicyclist—eventually hit the nighttime news.
The spark of the idea occurred when Fiegert was shot point-blank by a slingshot aimed at him from a passing vehicle full of young rabble-rousers. Nearly crashing and causing a massive collision with other oncoming cars, Fiegert realized he hadn’t thought to look at the license plate.
“That’s when the idea for Fly6 was born,” Fiegert said.
Fly6 uses a USB rechargeable battery attached to a bike light and camera, offering riders 5 hours of looping video over 8GB of data. When the light is on, it’s recording. And the pair’s ultimate hope is that when motorists see the light on, day or night, they will become more aware.
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