CYCLING technology expert Shane Miller says radar and camera equipment on his bike is about improving his awareness on the road.
The cameras and rear-view radar, in particular, record accurate details of Miller's on-road experience. These are factors Miller said all road users, cyclists and motorists, should consider.
Ballarat-based Miller has a popular YouTube cycling channel with more than 140,000 global subscribers. He said there was no hiding errors and bad judgement on the road or in car parks anymore - cameras were always watching from somewhere - but technology could also be used to improve road safety.
The cameras, front and rear on his bike, function just like car dash cameras in recording the area surrounding his bike.
But Miller said in his years of reviewing cutting technology, the rear-view radar was the stand-out. This can detect up to eight cars travelling behind him, sending alerts to Miller's Garmin GPS device and recording approaching and passing car speeds.
At times this was confronting. Miller has clocked a learner driver accelerating from 98kmh to 115 kmh to pass him on a country road.
Mostly, the information allows Miller what he said was greater chance to share the road, even when he had every right to keep on riding.
"Being aware of an approaching vehicle on the open roads allows me to give a quick glance at the driver and give them a wave or nod to acknowledge they're passing at a safe distance. Sometimes against a single line, I will get off the road and give them a wave to pass me," Miller said.
"Cameras won't stop incidents occurring but they do make all road users accountable for their actions. With the amount of traffic cameras, dash cams, private security cameras in use these days, we have to assume we're being recorded when we're in public. That includes at all times on the road.
"I believe it's the responsibility of all road users to ensure the safety of each other, regardless of what you're driving, riding, or which pedestrian crossing you're using."
Cameras won't stop incidents occurring but they do make all road users accountable for their actions.Shane Miller
Police in England have been using camera technology on their bike rides to capture footage and issue traffic infringements.
Bike camera footage also showed a cyclist in Newcastle, New South Wales, get hit by a car travelling too close in passing late last month.
This comes as Victoria is set to introduce new one-metre passing laws, with 1.5m where speed limits exceed 60kmh, in the New Year.
Miller, a Ballarat Cycle Classic ambassador, said most "close calls" he had on the road were due to a lack of awareness from other road users from vehicle size and road conditions or how to navigate other road users.
While Miller's job is to review cutting-edge cycling technology, he said most of his added safety features were available relatively inexpensive from technology shops in Ballarat. He likened a lot of the products to what was available for cars, particularly in newer models with proximity sensors.
Measuring vehicle speed and vehicle count will all help for technology in the future to better predict where to ride.Shane Miller
"Measuring vehicle speed and vehicle count will all help for technology in the future to better predict where to ride, a little like GPS maps does for cars," Miller said. "This will help riders find better, less busy roads, and get to work safer."
Miller's helmet carries a crash detection sensor that, after a heavy impact, will notify his emergency contacts with his location.
He also uses GPS location apps for his wife to be able to track his location on rides.
Miller said the road was his workplace. His job was to be out riding and this has taken him riding on roads across the world.
As more people take up cycling and running as side-effects from lengthy isolations this year, Miller said it was important everyone be accountable in sharing the road. He said not everyone was perfect, but everyone should accept their responsibility in keeping roads safe.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.