By Niamh Anderson
An anonymous cyclist is on a mission to reveal dangerous drivers with the help of a trusty helmet camera.
The mystery biker has been filming his commute to work in Edinburgh and uploading footage of dangerous drivers causing havoc for cyclists online.
The clips, which have generated hundreds of views on YouTube, show a driver pull too far out of a junction and stop in the middle of a cycle lane, dangerously blocking the path of the commuting cyclist.
In another clip, a taxi driver pulls out onto the road without signalling, causing the cyclist to break suddenly.
And it’s not just drivers who are being shamed in the crusaders anonymous posts.
A jay-walker is filmed nonchalantly crossing the road while reading a book while a man is also shown jumping out of his parked van, opening the door directly in front of the brave biker.
In another clip, a cyclist is filmed squeezing his way through two large buses, with the risk of becoming sandwiched between the two vehicles.
Each clip is introduced and concluded by the cyclist, ending each clip cryptically with; “Thanks for watching- watch out, next time it could be you.”
The man behind the bike battle, who refuses to reveal his identity, feels he is doing his part to reveal the dangers that cyclists are facing on the streets of Edinburgh.
“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.”
The cycler found his inspiration for the “dangerousinedinburgh” posts from a London blogger who had done the same thing online.
“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.”
“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 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 is not convinced that this belligerent biker is on the right track.
“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 the 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.”
However, both the YouTube channel and the cyclist’s blog were mysteriously taken offline early this afternoon (mon).
While all the youtube videos still appeared in the site’s searches, viewers were greeted with a message reading “This video is no longer available because the uploader has closed their YouTube account. Sorry about that”.
There is no indication yet as to why the videos have been removed.