The Rise Of The Dashcam Vigilante

The Rise Of The Dashcam Vigilante

I can be fairly confident that you, like me, think you are better than the average driver.

A study conducted in 1981 found that a staggering 93% of drivers thought that they were “better than average”. This in itself cannot be true, because if over half of the driving population were better than average, the average would not be the average.

A more recent survey shows that we think other drivers are well below average. These results are perhaps not surprising, since they come from an organisation that reports dangerous driving to the authorities using footage captured by the public.

Budget restraints in the last ten years have meant that police time can often be stretched, so allowing citizens to submit footage would surely help improve road safety. Right?

As things stand, video and photographic evidence gathered by citizens can’t be used for motoring prosecutions. But seeing as closed-circuit camera systems have long been accepted as sources of evidence, as long as the footage is time-stamped and dated, shouldn’t the same be true for in-car systems?

But for those who worry that this sort of thing would turn the nation’s drivers into would-be vigilantes, it is worth bearing in mind the skewed view we have on our own driving ability.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are many cases where members of the public report what they think is someone else’s dangerous driving, only to find that when the footage is reviewed by the police, the authorities decide they were at fault and prosecute them instead.

Industry experts say the number of people buying dashcams is rising steadily, and that the policy on using footage captured by the public is likely to be reviewed by the Government. That being said, we have to remember that with this power, comes great responsibility.

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