Dash cam evidence submitted by a member of the public has been used successfully for the first time in North Yorkshire to bring a dangerous driver to justice.
A motorist sent dash cam footage to the North Yorkshire Police of fellow motorist Marc Hyland overtaking dangerously on the A19. In April 2017, Mr Hyland was given a 12-week suspended sentence and a 20-month driving ban.
Dash cam footage has been used in policing before to catch offenders threatening road safety, and here is an example:
Why Police use dash cams
The Yorkshire conviction follows calls from Police across the country for civic-minded motorists to report incidents and support their claims with footage from dash cam videos.
Inspector Dave Barf, of the North Yorkshire Police, said, “With liveried Police vehicles being highly identifiable on the road, the opportunities for traffic officers to witness poor driving are somewhat reduced.
"However, I know that members of the public very often witness or experience behaviour such as tail-gating, inappropriate speed, aggressive driving and mobile phone use."
In 2016, North Wales Police were the first to launch an online system for members of the public to upload dash cam footage of driving offences. Over 100 clips were uploaded and 80 penalties handed out in the first six months.
According to North Wales Police, it used to take up to 15 hours to process dash cam footage. But with the new online form, the process takes closer to 15 minutes, freeing up valuable Police time.
How dash cams can help the public
As well as helping the Police catch dangerous drivers, dash cams can also help protect the owner of the camera - footage could be used as evidence in cases of personal accident for insurance companies, or proof of innocence if you have been accused of causing an accident.
The AA said, “If you suspect you've been a victim of crash for cash fraud, submitting dash cam evidence could help you be properly compensated and prevent it happening to others.”
Motorists are advised to use dash cams responsibly and, if they witness any dangerous driving, to resist the urge to take matters into their own hands.
How to submit dash cam footage to the Police
If you have witnessed an accident or dangerous driving, your dash cam may contain vital evidence to help the Police prosecute any wrongdoers. Visit your local Police website to find out more details.