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UK NEWS

Official dash cam guidance urgently needed

Nov 06, 2017

The UK’s biggest road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has warned that the rush of drivers investing in dash cams may not yield any increase in prosecutions for dangerous driving as many hope and may also lead to fewer visible traffic patrols as officers spend more time analysing amateur footage.

In 2015, The Daily Telegraph reported that sales of dash cams had increased by 918%, with many insurance companies now accepting footage as part of insurance claims.

But IAM RoadSmart has urged caution, as drivers are potentially lulled into a false sense of security in thinking a dash cam will protect them or exonerate them from all blame in the event of a crash, when in fact the opposite might be the case.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said dash cam footage often does not show the full picture of a crash, often being too short, of poor quality and failing to show how a crash developed. There is no consistency over which police forces would accept dash cam footage – on Monday, 21 August both North and South Wales Police were widely quoted in the media as saying they would welcome footage through their Operation Snap, but the situation is vastly different or unknown in many areas across the country.

Neil added, ”IAM RoadSmart is calling for consistent national guidelines on the standard of dash cam footage required for prosecutions, what the police will do with it and how to submit it in the correct way. Our members are very supportive of high profile policing but it takes time for police to evaluate the footage, decide what to follow up, trace the driver, serve paperwork and then obtain a successful prosecution within legal time limits. Our main concern is that dash cams must not become a replacement for fully trained officers undertaking high profile road policing.”

Photo: Sales of dash cams were reported in the press in 2015 as having increased by 918%.

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