It’s candid helmet cam

A man reads a book while crossing Lothian Road
A man reads a book while crossing Lothian Road
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With the aid of two wheels and a helmet cam, he is on a mission to combat the scourge of bad driving.

A mystery cycle crusader has been filming journeys through the city on his bike and posting footage of careless, inconsiderate and just downright daft motoring – and cycling – online.

A car sits on the pedestrian crossing while waiting at lights

A car sits on the pedestrian crossing while waiting at lights

The clips have been uploaded on to YouTube, under the guise of dangerousedinburgh, and on a blog site.

One shows a driver pull too far out of a junction and stop in the middle of a bicycle lane – right in the path of the camera-wielding cyclist.

In another, three lorries show complete disregard for a red light.

And it’s not just drivers who are in the firing line. A jaywalker is filmed reading a book as he crosses from one side of Lothian Road to the other – completely oblivious to what is happening around him and only footsteps from a crossing.

Acar sits on the dividing line between the cycle lane and the road

Acar sits on the dividing line between the cycle lane and the road

In another clip, a cyclist risks becoming sandwiched between two buses after choosing to pedal between them.

Each clip ends with the Jeremy Beadle-like warning – “Thanks for watching – watch out, next time it could be you!”. He also highlights the number plates of drivers involved.

The man behind the footage, who refuses to disclose his identity, told the Evening News: “Around two years ago I returned to cycling for commuting purposes and was aware of drivers overtaking me too closely, cutting me up at junctions or stopping or parking in advance cycle lanes at traffic lights – all of which makes cyclists vulnerable.

“I’d seen other YouTube channels, based mainly around the London area, but nothing much in Scotland or Edinburgh, so in February this year I decided to get a helmet camera and start recording what I caught commuting around the city and upload the best of the footage to the YouTube channel and my blog.

A cyclist risks cycling between two buses

A cyclist risks cycling between two buses

“By uploading the footage to the YouTube channel, my hope is to get people thinking about cyclists when driving, but also I give those who don’t cycle a view of the road from the eyes of a cyclist in the hope that this might raise awareness of some of the hazards on the road.

“You will see that I have also caught footage of cyclists as well, as I think it’s just as important that cyclists do not put themselves or other road users in danger either.

“I had a close one on the way home from Gorgie the other day and this car just pulled out and nearly knocked me flying.

“I just hope the footage might make people think – and they might think, ‘what if I end up on there?’”

But Ian Maxwell of cycle campaign Spokes remains sceptical about the method.

“While Spokes is certainly in favour of road safety, it’s not certain what this set of short videos will contribute, apart from embarrassing a few inconsiderate road users.

“Some of the actions shown in these films are illegal, some are unwise and some could have resulted in accidents.

“From the single viewpoint of a helmet camera, it is difficult to work out the full context of each incident.

“They do show that advanced stop line boxes and cycle lanes are often encroached by motorists, thus undermining the reason for having these measures throughout Edinburgh.

“We suggest that anyone worried about cycling in Edinburgh traffic should consider taking a commuter cycling course to learn the best techniques, such as the one offered by the Bike Station.”

Visit www.cyclinginedin burgh.co.uk to watch the videos.

dawnmorrison@edinburghnews.com

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