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Dangerous motorway filtering captured in new SmartWitness video

The footage captures the moment the Ford Focus hits the side of the lorry after running out of filtering space as it tries to join the M6.

Rather than braking and waiting for a space behind the lorry, the Focus driver kept going, leading to an unavoidable collision – with the lorry shunting the car along the hard shoulder.

Fortunately, the lorry was fitted with a SmartWitness vehicle journey recorder, with the video used to show that the car driver was completely to blame.

Insurers for the car driver settled the claim as soon as the CCTV was produced. 

The SmartWitness footage was provided by hauliers, the Malcolm Group, which has fitted SmartWitness in-vehicle CCTV to its 500 strong fleet.

Allan Campbell, Malcolm Group technical engineer, said the cameras had significantly improved road safety.

He said: ‘It is one of a number of measures we have introduced to improve safety – and it has been money well spent.

‘Before we installed the cameras, we could often end in messy situations where neither side was accepting blame. In these instances, the courts could often side against the haulier even when their driver was completely blameless due the lack of incontrovertible evidence.

‘That is no longer the case now we have SmartWitness journey recorders.

‘Crucially for Malcolm Group, we are aware when our drivers are at fault and can embark on additional training where necessary.

‘The fact that drivers are aware that their driving is being monitored makes them extra vigilant – also ensuring improved road safety.’

SmartWitness adds that insurers have found that just 2% of incidents recorded on its cameras result in disputed claims compared with an industry norm of 40% of motor claims.

SmartWitness managing director Simon Marsh said: ‘Once a company fits vehicle CCTV they never go back to having their drivers operating without cameras.

‘This new video perfectly illustrates their worth. It might seem like a relatively minor collision, but these incidents in the days before cameras would result in a big drain on time and expense as both sides argued it out with insurers. Not any more – the SmartWitness footage goes off and it is settled almost instantly.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.