Link & article (trimmed down version here) found on BNA's Australian Cycling Forums:
WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car.
But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode. After watching a recording of the incident later, Mr. Wilder gave the license plate number to the police and a suspect was eventually charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
Cyclists have long had a rocky coexistence with motorists and pedestrians, who often criticize bike riders for a confrontational attitude, and for blowing through stop signs or otherwise exempting themselves from the rules of the road. Now small cameras — the cycling equivalent of the black box on an airplane — are becoming an intermediary in the relationship, providing high-tech evidence in what is sometimes an ugly contest between people who ride the roads on two wheels and those who use four.
Bicyclists say cameras can also deter motorist harassment, a problem that many complain about and that cities like Los Angeles and Berkeley, Calif., have sought to combat with new laws.
“It’s a fact of life that on American roads that you get punked, cut off purposely, harassed, not once but on a regular basis,” a former Olympic cyclist who is now a lawyer representing bicyclists in Portland, Oregon said. “If motorists start to hear about bikes having cameras, they’re going to think twice about running you off the road.”
Gary Souza, a cyclist in Sacramento wears a camera on his helmet during his 50-minute commute each way between his home and office. He began riding with the device this year after buying a $7,000 velomobile, a three-wheeled recumbent cycle with a shell around it.
“Even though it’s insured, if anything happens I figured I wanted to get it on camera,” said Mr. Souza. A couple of months ago, a motorist became upset after he crossed in front of his vehicle to make a turn. The driver got out of his car to confront Mr. Souza, who pointed to the camera on his head.
“I said, ‘Don’t be stupid,’ ” Mr. Souza said. “He quickly ran back to his car. I’m certain I avoided a couple blows.”
One of the most prominent bicycle crash videos so far was recorded in April by two Brazilian riders who were climbing the hills of Berkeley when a black car knocked them down and sped off. Neither bicyclist was seriously injured, according to the Berkeley police - video of the crash has been viewed 362,000+ times on YouTube.
The Berkeley police identified the car’s license plate and later found the man the vehicle was registered to. They believe he falsely reported his car stolen to cover up for the driver of the car and are still investigating the incident, said a spokesman for the police.
The video Mr. Wilder shot of his crash in Washington at first did not seem as if it would help much in tracking down the motorist who had struck him. But Mr. Wilder examined the video frame by frame until he discovered a clear picture of the vehicle’s license plate, captured while he was lying on the ground.
The District of Columbia’s office of the attorney general charged the motorist, John W. Diehl, with leaving the scene of an accident.