Motorists installing dashboard cameras to capture bad driving

Date posted: February 12, 2014

It’s something that has been popular for years in Russia due to the amount of car insurance fraud. Now it seems like we’re following suit as sales of dash cams have been soaring to record accidents with road users.

The cameras are popular with cyclists as many choose to opt to wear the cameras on their helmets, uploading footage online to show scraps with drivers. Often used as the basis for police complaints, this type of video can be vital in convicting dangerous road users.

Most recently, a video gained more than a million views when the driver of a white Audi A7 was filmed allegedly assaulting a cyclist after the driver went into a cyclist’s box in central London and the cyclist confronted him about this mishap. Police are still hunting down the driver.

Dash cams on the rise

It seems that the installation of dash cams may now similarly catch out bad cyclists on the road. According to sales figures from Halfords, dash cam sales for cars increased by 150% during the Christmas period.

Many car owners hope the cameras will help them with false insurance claims, with many drivers falling victim for crash for cash scams. Most recently, “flash-for-cash” scams have seen an increase, where a driver will flash their headlights to let them out at a junction before purposely crashing into them to claim excessive insurance.

In-car technology manager for Halfords, Alec James explains: “Following an incident people are often reluctant to admit guilt and risk losing their no-claims discount. In addition, the surge in fraudulent crash for cash claims is causing genuine concern among innocent drivers. The range of recording devices we now offer means that we can provide drivers with the means to produce evidence.”

Invaluable piece of evidence

Online sales are also on the rise, with electronics website saying sales of dash-cams rose 28 percent in the last quarter of 2013, becoming a popular product for taxi drivers who use it as evidence against non-paying customers and in case of accident.

Dashboard cameras are seen as invaluable piece if equipment for some, and police are keen to welcome the increase in popularity. Suffolk’s deputy chief constable Paul Marshall said the use of dash cams is welcomed by the Association of Chief Police Officers as often the only evidence comes in the form of eyewitnesses “which is disputed by the alleged offenders.”

Some drivers are urging insurance companies to give discounts to road users that install dash cams, but the likelihood that they will be built into all future cars means that any discount on insurance will probably not happen any time soon.

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