Ask a group of bikers what they think of helmet cameras and you’ll probably get a split decision. Yes, they have a role to play in gathering evidence of the circumstances around a collision, but the possibility of distraction and greater risk should not be overlooked.
Campaigns such as Operation Snap utilise submissions of video and photographic evidence from members of the public in relation to witnessed driving offences and bikers’ evidence can bring irresponsible drivers to justice - but don’t be tempted to adversely alter your normal safe riding practices to gain that evidence. Police reviewing submitted footage are duty bound to also review the manner of your driving/riding and the manner in which the footage was obtained. For example, if you were exceeding the speed limit in order to catch up with an offending driver then the Police will consider also taking proceedings against you.
Although it’s legal in the UK to use a camera attached to a helmet with a bracket, it cannot be secured by drilling holes or compromising the integrity of the helmet. There’s a reason why the exterior of a helmet is smooth - it’s designed to slide on a surface instead of rotating your head upon impact.
Adding a camera will change the airflow and aerodynamics of the helmet and fixings to one side or the other will cause asymmetric airflow, which could lead to neck ache, and subsequent fatigue. A top mounted camera is preferable, but users are warned against striving for the perfect shot to upload to YouTube, or riding recklessly to gain 'daredevil' footage. Unfortunately, some bikers' final moments have been caught on helmet cams when video capture possibly became the focus rather than good defensive riding.
If you're considering buying a helmet cam, carefully weigh up whether reliving your favourites rides, sharing footage with mates or having proof for the authorities and insurance companies is worth the potential risk.
If you'd like further details about Operation Snap please click here.