I stumbled onto Dash Cam Owners Australia some months ago. It's "a place where Drivers could share their footage in order to help educate others about how road accidents can occur and be avoided".
And it is indeed an educational experience.
The latest batch
I was reminded of the site today when the September On the road Compilation came up in my Twitter feed:
The incidents in the video could be described variously as:
- amusing [lose control in roundabout - 2:10]
- bewildering [failed U-turn - 1:16]
- a mistake [lane change error - 5:12]
- valuable learning experience [unsafe to overtake - 4:51]
- a brain freeze [strange place to stop - 1:59 and 2:32]
- bizarre [must turn left NOW! - 0:39]
- stupid [U-turn across multiple lanes/double lines - 1:03 and 4:14]
- selfishness [footpath overtake - 4:41]
- idiotic selfishness [run red, turn from wrong lane - 2:25 and 6:01]
- flagrant disregard [fail to give way at roundabout - 4:21, 6:06 and 6:20]
- scary ["fuckin' tourists" - 2:51]
- very scary [red light runner vs pedestrian - 1:34 and 3:19]
- frightening [truck overtaking across double lines - 3:54]
- downright terrifying [the music some people play in their cars - 1:46]
Wow. As @Nthsidemech said, And that is *just* the September issue.
Browsing the collection
Browsing through the collection is enlightening if somewhat uninspiring. The 'take home messages' seems to be:
- slow the fuck down
- pay attention to the driving—and only the driving
- leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles, and
- don't be a dick around trucks.
On most of the videos, the carnage seen through the windscreen is counterbalanced by the soundtrack: plenty of car stereos out there play awful music that I haven't heard in decades (some I was hoping never to hear again) and there's often "farken" robust commentary from the drivers/camera operators. 'Straya, mate.
Exposing the 'cycling menace'
If the comments sections of just about every newspaper website are to be believed (a bit of a credibility stretch, I know, but let's go with it for a moment) then the biggest menace to public health and safety is the 'scofflaw cyclist'. And with a catalogue of videos running back a few years, I thought that Dash Cam Owners Australia would provide a treasure trove of evidence that misbehaving cyclists are a danger on the roads.
So I went looking for videos showing red light running bike riders terrorising vulnerable car drivers, pelotons of 'lycra loonies' intimidating old ladies with prams on pedestrian crossings, or unregistered and unlicensed helmet-less idiots hurting downhill on the wrong side of the road with no lights and no brakes.
You know what I found? Two incidents. One in which a cyclist is knocked off his bike by a turning car and the other a kid on a bike crashes into a car in a caravan park. (Bikes also make a few appearances in some of the compilation videos as well.)
Of course, you can find dash cam and helmet videos featuring bicycle riders, although just as often (if not more so) as the victims rather than the perpetrators of road stupidity. In any case, there are insignificantly few of these compared to the sheer volume of motor vehicular madness captured in dash cam and helmet videos [hint: the Russian road videos are the craziest/scariest].
But if you hold any lingering beliefs about the cycling menace, here's an experiment for you. Load the worst 'cyclist behaving badly' video you can find on the web and play it alongside any random video from the Australian Dash Cam Crashes channel. Compare the danger and the damage.
Yep, it's an educational experience.