Dash-Cams: Should They Be Made Mandatory
At some point in your life we can fairly certain you’ll have seen a vehicle with a dashboard camera installed. They are becoming more and more popular as time goes on. Time upon time we are seeing how invaluable these cameras can be as a source of vital information.
The dash-cam does pretty much the same thing as an aeroplane’s black box. It acts as an additional witness to events that occur, by recording everything that happens from the moment the engine starts until the journey finishes. Some of the higher spec cameras can even capture the G-force of an impact, GPS co-ordinates, and speed at a specific date and time. The recordings provide excellent evidence should you ever fall victim to your car being vandalised, or being involved in a hit and run or a road traffic accident. The recordings can be used as hard evidence for Police, Insurance companies and Solicitors, and will hopefully put an end to the Insurance Industry allegations that “crash for cash” accidents are mainstream, and other alleged fraudulent Road Traffic Accident activities.
In the United States, from 2014 all new vehicles have been equipped with a dash-cam. There is now evidence to suggest that it results in more aware and conscious driving when a dash-cam is installed in a vehicle. Their popularity and success in countries like Russia, Canada and the United States, in proving ‘innocence without witness’ have opened up the debate; should dash-cams be made mandatory in the UK?
There is already a plethora of videos on social media and sites such as You Tube which show unusual, bizarre and controversial car accident circumstances. Often these videos will involve a celebrity or someone in the public eye and as such, these videos tend to lead to a flurry of comments and opinions. Footage released to the public provides an open mike to anyone who feels that they have the experience or ability to act as judge and jury. With this, the hype surrounding dash-cams will only continue to rise.
Speaking of people in the public eye, here’s what Radio 2 Presenter Jeremy Vine managed to capture on his dash-cam..
If Jeremy did not have a dash-cam set up on his bike he wouldn’t have been able to prove how reckless and confrontational the actions of the car driver truly was. The case, did, in fact go to court. As Jeremy had the recordings available to use as evidence, he was able to prove his innocence. As you would expect, the car driver got convicted.
As a result, dash-cams help to improve safety standards, provide concrete evidence to assist with legal cases and help to prevent corruption and fraud in road traffic accident claims.
Could dash-cams be considered as desirable as having a Satellite Navigation system installed in the future? Our view is yes. The benefits completely outweigh the negatives. We’ll let you decide for yourself.
Article written by Rebecca Kay, Scottish RTA Fee Earner at Michael Lewin Solicitors