LONDON — If their own safety and the safety of others weren’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 streets of the British capital.
Mike van Erp, originally from the Netherlands, took it upon himself to make London’s streets safer by filming law-breaking drivers by attaching a camera to his helmet, usually operating a cell phone, while cycling and commuting to the office. He then hands over his videos to the police to use as evidence.
He estimated to CBS News that he has reported about 1,100 people over the past five years, more than 800 of whom have been successfully prosecuted for driving offenses.
“The most I ever caught was 16 in an hour, and then I refused to look at anyone else because I wouldn’t have time to live my life,” Van Erp said, stressing that he doesn’t do it for fun: “I want to do it. No. It’s a bit of civic duty.”
Using his camera, he records suspected law-breaking behavior (the use of hands-free phones by drivers on UK roads is illegal) and car license plates to enable police to prosecute drivers.
“I don’t think I’m cautious at all,” he said. “I’m capturing the evidence, and then I’m letting the police and the justice system deal with it.”
After the court made their decision, Van Erp uploaded his clips to his YouTube channel in what he says is an effort to spread awareness and prevent others from making the same mistake.
This is a very personal mission. When Van Erp was 19, his father was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver. She said her father’s memory fuels her efforts to make London’s roads safer for her own children – even in the face of regular threats and verbal abuse from drivers.
“I mostly just remember the good times, but it still adds that little discipline and steel to what I’m doing,” she told CBS News, adding that she finds crossing the street with her kids “sometimes pretty scary. , it’s for them.”