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Bike cam use increasing for safety

By Natalie Martinez, NBC, Associated Press | Posted - Nov. 30, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — We've all seen how dash cam video comes in handy in an accident but now bikers are using their own version of a dash cam to document accidents and "close calls" so drivers can be prosecuted.

Lebster Pabon is a fixture at West Town Bikes in Chicago. He's an avid bicyclist who has had his share of mishaps on the road.

"I've been ‘doored,' " he said, meaning motorists have opened their doors right in front of him causing him to crash into their cars.

So Pabon has become a regular user of this GoPro mounted bike camera to record his rides for fun and for safety.

"It's really cool just to record it, have a good ride, have a fun ride, and then, come back and plug it in, and actually see your ride," Pabon said.

He's one of a rising number of bicyclists using mounted helmet and bike cameras.

"They sell a handlebar mount, chest mount. All types depending on what type of sport," he said.

Some people are using camera phones for the same purpose, but Pabon said the GoPros are easy to use and only cost couple hundred bucks.

With the inception and increasing popularity of bike share programs, there is more potential for accidents.

Personal injury attorney Matt Willens is all for the use of mounted cameras.

"To an attorney, that would be critical evidence, to actually have a real time picture," he said.

In fact, Willens' office created an app on their website specifically for cyclists.

"Enter data about either an accident — and this is important — or a near miss, so other cyclists can use it to identify 'hot spots,' " Willens said.

Several companies make helmet and handle bar mounted cameras, but GoPro has become the industry leader. The company has doubled its sales figures every year since starting in the early 2000s, and it's expecting to double them again this year.

Video contributing: Andrew Wittenberg


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