Would you give your dash cam footage to the police if you witnessed a driving offence?
Police forces in the UK received an average of 89 pieces of dash cam footage every day in 2019, according to a Freedom of Information request issued by the RAC.
The response, from 24 forces, showed that 32,370 video recordings were submitted that year, which is more than double the number recorded in 2018 (15,159).
A quarter of the offences alleged through these video submissions resulted in prosecution, according to the data.
RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said: “Even before the decline in the number of roads police enforcing traffic offences, law-abiding drivers were often frustrated that there was never an officer there to deal with infringements they witnessed.
“The advent of dashcams, phones with cameras and helmet cameras have been a game changer as drivers can now easily submit footage to almost every police force.”
He added that some dangerous drivers will inevitably find this out the hard way, while others would hopefully become increasingly mindful of it.
Police forces across the country have made it easier to hand over video recordings of bad driving, with 44 forces now accepting footage. A number of forces are making this possible via their websites.
The data shows the Met Police in London received the most submissions with 8,082, followed by Surrey (3,542) and the West Midlands (3,242).
The type of footage received ranged from examples of dangerous or careless driving, driving too close to cyclists, going through red lights and using a mobile phone behind the wheel.
Mr Williams said: “As so many drivers and cyclists are now using dash cams and helmet cameras every road user needs to be very conscious that any of their actions that aren’t in accordance with the law could end up with the police.”
He added that the reason only 25% of submissions resulted in prosecution was because the footage was not conclusive. Also, that mobile phones may not capture enough of the incident to uncover any wrongdoing, unlike dash cam footage which records continuously.
A dash cam is a small in-car camera that can be fixed to your dashboard. It continuously records everything through your vehicle’s front windscreen and, in some cases, the rear or other windows.
As well as coming to the aid of drivers who’ve been involved in an incident, they’re also used by some to monitor their driving and help them improve their safety on the road.