Dashcams can prevent aggression in traffic
Dashcams are used to record accidents, but they can also be a weapon against assaulting behaviour. The images are also gradually gaining in evidential value in legal proceedings, as the increasing use of dashcams in the Netherlands proves. They can have a deterring effect on road hogs and aggressive drivers.
A dashcam is a small camera which is mounted behind the windscreen or on the dashboard. As soon as the car moves, the camera starts filming. When the memory is full, the first pictures will be overwritten automatically.
A possible accident will be recorded in this way. There are dozens of dashcams, from cheap to quite expensive. Some can handle poor lighting conditions and automatically detect an accident, after which the camera will automatically send the images to the cloud. This year, some models will be introduced that even call the 112 emergency number in case the driver no longer responds after the crash.
Car manufacturers are increasingly building cameras in cars. Citroën played a pioneering role by democratizing the technology in the compact C3 city car. In the Netherlands, it is estimated that a quarter to half a million people use a camera behind the windscreen.
If they get involved in a collision, they have proof that the accident was not their fault. Another side effect of the dashcam is that aggressive road users will hesitate when a camera captures their behaviour.
Nextbase, market leader in portable devices, expects 110.000 dashcams to be sold in the Netherlands in the course of 2019. In the United Kingdom, one million dashcams are being sold each year. Insurers even offer premium discounts when a dashcam is used.
In the UK, the company Brooker developed a website where users can upload their images directly to the police. “This results in 270 movies a week, sometimes showing life-threatening situations”, the company adds.
The website is designed in a way users cannot post the images anonymously because they have to be willing to testify in court. In the Netherlands too, the police are more likely to get videos of loutish behaviour. “If these are accompanied by testimonies, they are excellent extra evidence”, Dutch police says.