“Cycling Mikey” is Every Bad London Drivers Worst Nightmare
By Duarte Dias, Ian Lee, Tina Kraus
If their own safety and the safety of others wasn’t enough, drivers in London have one more good reason to pay attention and obey the rules of the road: He calls himself “Cycling Mikey.” He’s armed with a GoPro and police contacts, and he’s not worried about making any friends on the roads of the British capital.
Mike Van Erp, originally from the Netherlands, has taken it upon himself to make London’s roads safer by filming drivers breaking the law, usually by handling cell phones, with the camera attached to his helmet during his cycling commute to and from work. He then hands his videos over to police to use as evidence.
He estimated to CBS News that he’s reported about 1,100 people over the past five years, with more than 800 being successfully prosecuted for driving offenses.
“The most I caught once was about 16 in an hour, and then I refused to look at anyone else because I would have no more time to live my life,” Van Erp said, stressing that he doesn’t do it for fun: “I don’t want to do this. It’s just a bit of civic duty.”
Using his cameras, he records suspected law-breaking behavior (pretty much any use of a non-hands-free phone by a driver on U.K. roads is illegal) and the vehicle’s license plates to enable police to prosecute the drivers.
“I don’t think I’m a vigilante at all,” he said. “I’m capturing the evidence, and then I’m letting the police and justice system deal with it.”
Once the courts have made their decision, Van Erp uploads his clips to his YouTube channel in what he says is an effort to spread awareness and dissuade others from making the same mistakes.
It’s a very personal mission. When Van Erp was 19, his father was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver. He said his father’s memory fuels his effort to make London’s roads safer for his own children – even in the face of the regular threats and verbal abuse it draws from drivers.
“I mostly just remember the good times, but it still adds that little bit of discipline and steel to what I’m doing,” he told CBS News, adding that he finds just crossing the road with his kids “quite scary sometimes. So, it’s for them.”
Article courtesy of CBS – https://www.cbsnews.com/