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How a dash cam can get you out of a jam

December 14, 2017 by in category News tagged as with 0 and 0
Home > News > News > How a dash cam can get you out of a jam

What is a dash cam?

If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident that is not your fault or a dispute of any kind while behind the wheel of a vehicle, then a dash cam could help to get you out of what could be a very sticky situation.

As the name suggests, a dash cam is a small camera that can be fit to either the dashboard or windscreen of a vehicle for the purpose of recording the road ahead. They are time stamped and therefore, tamper proof and can be used to identify other useful information such as the speed that a vehicle was travelling at, the exact location of an incident and the G force of your vehicle. Modern technology also means that they can record in full HD, at night and even prevent any possible glare from your vehicle’s windscreen that could cause disruption to your recording.

What is the benefit of owning a dash cam?

Some insurance companies provide discounts on insurance for both new and renewing customers that have dash cams installed into their cars. Video footage certainly makes it easier for insurance companies to prove who is at fault in an accident and avoids long winded, and often costly, negotiations when fault cannot be attributed.

It has also been suggested that people tend to behave better when they think that someone is watching them and that the same principle can be applied to dash cams. This “big brother effect” is believed to make people more cautious and considerate drivers, and make them less likely to get themselves in a pickle in the first place.

Footage can also be submitted to the police in the event of an accident to prove that no motoring laws have been broken which could prevent you from incurring points on your licence, receiving a ban and even facing a custodial sentence. Moreover, dash cams can also be used to set up alerts when the driver is exceeding the speed limit or involved in an accident, and contain a function called telematics which allows data to be gathered in real time.  These functions often come in handy for parents that are keen to keep an eye on younger drivers where they have concerns about driving.

Does the use of dash cams breach an individual’s right to privacy?

As dash cams can be used to monitor drivers and possibly other members of the public, this often raises the issue of privacy due to the possibility of more than just the road ahead being captured. As there is no legislation under English law governing the “invasion of privacy” we must instead rely upon the European Convention of Human Rights 1998 (ECHR) which has been implemented into domestic law.

Under Article 8 of the ECHR everyone has a right to respect for their private and family life.  However, as public filming does not infringe upon either right, and as ‘no one can copyright their own appearance,’ as argued by Institute of Amateur Filmers and Videographers, so as long as you are driving on a public road then you will be entitled to film. Though, it is imperative that you gain consent before filming on private land and that you are cautious about capturing footage of people during private situations in order to avoid being charged with an alternative offence such as harassment, voyeurism or being in possession of indecent images – all of which infringe upon Article 8.

Can dash cam footage be shared?

Article 10 of the ECHR gives everyone the right to freedom of expression which includes the right to receive and impart information. Any claims for an infringement of article 8 must therefore, be balanced with article 10 as neither article takes precedence over another. When considering a claim for a breach of privacy when footage is shared, the courts would also have to consider any justification for one individual interfering with another’s right to privacy.

Where dash cam footage containing explicit material is shared on social media websites such as Facebook then the site administrators or the police could remove the content.

In cases where the police and other public authorities are thought to have infringed on an individual’s Article 8 right then a claim can be brought directly under the Human Rights Act. Though, in order to submit a claim the individual must have exhausted all other avenues and must provide evidence of suffering a loss due to the alleged violation.

Are dash cams expensive?

Due to their indisputable account of what happens in the event of any accident the demand for this truth telling device is increasing. For example in a recent poll on AA members over half said that they would seriously consider purchasing a dash cam. This is because dash cams can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run and because they can be bought from anywhere between £20-£300, so you needn’t break the bank.

All in all dash cams promote a self-awareness amongst good drivers and can also be used to keep an eye out for drivers who are a little less aware.

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