89 dashcam videos of driving offences sent to police every day
Motorists are being warned to “always drive as if you are being watched by the police”, as dashcam footage becomes a “game changer” in law enforcement.
Around 89 dashcam video recordings of alleged motoring offences were submitted to police forces every day in 2019, according to data analysed by the RAC – and this figure is very likely to go up in 2021 due to rising use of dashcams.
Its data also shows one in four of these footage submissions led to a successful prosecution.
And all 44 of the UK’s police forces now accept dashcam video, the vast majority online via their websites.
The RAC’s freedom of information request found a total of 32,370 pieces of footage were received by 24 police forces that accept video evidence of driving offences from members of the public, double the number recorded in 2018 (15,159). The data also shows that a quarter of these (25% – 8,148) went on to result in prosecutions.
Reasons why this isn’t higher could be due to the recorded evidence not being as conclusive as it needs to be, such as on illegal handheld mobile phone use or careless driving.
The greatest number of potentially prosecutable offences in 2019 were – perhaps unsurprisingly – submitted to the Met Police, a total of 8,082. Surrey had the second highest tally with 3,542, followed by West Midlands – 3,242 in third spot and Gwent – 3,037 – in fourth. Greater Manchester received the fifth highest number of dashcam videos with 2,940.
The footage submitted to police related to the following offences: dangerous driving, careless driving/driving without due care and attention, driving too close to cyclists, contravening red traffic lights, contravening double white lines, contravening ‘no entry’ signs, illegal use of a handheld mobile phone and evidence of vehicles apparently without MOTs.
RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams said that the use of dashcams has provided an outlet for law-abiding drivers who 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 outlined.
As a result, he stressed for motorists to “always drive as if you are being watched by the police”.
“As so many drivers and cyclists are now using dashcams 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. Some will inevitably find this out the hard way while others will hopefully become increasingly mindful of it,” Williams continued.
“With more and more people getting dashcams the message for 2021 has to be: always drive as if you’re being watched by the police. If more drivers who are inclined to break the laws of the road were to think this way, the safer the roads would be for all of us.”