Judge brushes dash cam evidence aside to defend privacy
In Wallonia a 21-year-old driver, filmed by the dash cam of a fellow driver while he was committing eight infringements, could go scot-free because the judge decided that the man’s privacy was invaded. A Flemish judge comments that “it was perfectly legal” to sentence the driver based on the images.
Privacy gets priority
The man in the following car had filmed eight consecutive infringements and delivered the images of his dash cam to the police. The offender admitted the infringements, he couldn’t deny them either because the images proved his acts, but the police judge cleared the man of his charge “because he didn’t hurt anyone, he didn’t cause any damage and his privacy was invaded”.
In Dendermonde (Belgium) police judge Peter D’Hondt does not agree with the decision. “It was perfectly possible to sentence the driver”, D’Hondt says. “It all depends on the interpretation of the judge.
“What will happen next? Are we going to allow that a driver, jumping the traffic lights, goes scot-free because his mistress is sitting in the car, just for the sake of privacy? Do we always need bloodshed first?”
D’Hondt, however, is not in favour of a ‘tattle society’ and he admits the filming driver has been a bit too assiduous. “The police still is a better first judge than a common citizen”, he concludes.