How the police use dashcams

Police are increasingly using dash cams to track down unscrupulous drivers. We take a look at how they used them.

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Dash cam evidence presented 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 dashcam footage of Marc Hyland dangerously overtaking on the A19 to North Yorkshire Police. In April 2017, Mr. Hyland was sentenced to a 12-week suspended sentence and a 20-month driving ban.

Dash cam footage has been used by police to catch criminals who threaten road safety and here is an example:

Why the police use dash cams

Yorkshire's conviction follows calls from police across the country for civil-minded motorists to report incidents and back their claims with footage from dashcam videos.

Inspector Dave Barf of North Yorkshire Police said: "Because liveried police vehicles are easily recognizable on the road, the opportunities for traffic officers to spot bad driving are slightly reduced.

"However, I know that members of the public very often observe or experience behavior such as rear-end collisions, inappropriate speeding, aggressive driving and cell phone use."

In 2016, North Wales Police were the first to introduce an online system for the public to upload dash cam footage of traffic offences. In the first six months, over 100 clips were uploaded and 80 penalties were imposed.

North Wales Police say it used to take up to 15 hours to process dash cam footage. But with the new online form, the process takes almost 15 minutes, saving valuable police time.

How dash cams can help the public

Dash cams not only help police catch dangerous drivers, they can also protect the owner of the camera – footage could be used as evidence in personal accident cases for insurance companies, or as proof of innocence if you are accused of causing an accident.

The AA said: "If you suspect you may have been the victim of a cash fraud accident, submitting dashcam evidence could help you get adequate compensation and prevent it from happening to others."

Drivers are advised to use dashcams responsibly and, if they witness unsafe driving, to resist the urge to take matters into their own hands.

How to submit dashcam recordings to the police

If you've witnessed an accident or a dangerous drive, your dashcam may contain important evidence that will help police track down criminals. Visit your local police website for more details.