Health & Safety
Dash Cams: Road Safety and Security
3 November 2017
The Health, Safety and Environment Department has received a number of enquiries from Reps and Members considering fitting a dash cam to their own vehicles. Employers are currently testing and trialling dash cams also for the same reasons.
Many employers report a growing trend of fraudulent crash claims against them and are looking at dash cams to help them. Police Forces have been using dash cams and body cams for some time. Motor Insurers are beginning to encourage clients to fit them with some companies giving policy holders a bonus or discounted price as an incentive. Advice from the Motor Insurer Industry and Motor Trade Press is summarised below for your information.
Daily congestion and traffic can make driving feel more like a battleground than an easy trip from A to B. As a result, drivers are starting to fit in-car video cameras, or dash cams, to their vehicles. Thereís good reason to have one. Itís effectively like having a witness with you at all times. And if youíre in an accident, it can provide an impartial view of events to help assign blame and settle a car insurance claim. Whatís more, the Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates there are annually 30,000 'Crash For Cash' incidents where fraudsters deliberately cause crashes to claim off the innocent driversí insurance. A dash cam can help catch those crooks out.
Additionally there are all the times that you leave your car unattended? Whether you park up to go shopping or leave your car in one of those ridiculously small parking spaces, itís impossible to have eyes on your vehicle 24/7. Youíll need a dash cam with a Parking Mode if this kind of surveillance is important to you. Be aware that some form of professional installation may be required.
Fitting a Dash Cam:
Most dash cams are very easy to fit: use the rubber suction cup supplied and stick it to your windscreen. You can then power it by plugging it into a suitable power point (USB, cigarette lighter, etc.).
As itís using the car as a power source, the dash cam should start recording when you turn the ignition on, and stop when you turn it off. If you find the rubber suction cup keeps falling off, use a double-sided sticky pad to hold it on.
Using your Dash Cam:
Most dash cams have different sound and video quality options, so itís a good idea to set the device to record the highest video quality possible. If your footage is needed, itíll only be a few minutes, and tiny details that can be picked out due to high definition recording might prove invaluable.
Most dash cams record on a loop, recording over old footage when the internal storage or SD card fills up. If youíre in an accident, a dash cam can help settle a car insurance claim.
Some drivers choose not to record sound at all, but it can be very useful to have audio to go alongside video footage in the event of an accident or dispute.
If you are recording sound, or taking video inside the vehicle as well as outside, then itís only polite to let any passengers know up front.
Are dash cams legal?
Yes. In the UK, dash cams are completely legal.
As long as your camera does not block your view of the road, then it is legal to have it installed in your car.
Recording members of the public (and their registration numbers) is legal too. In the UK there is no expectation of privacy while in public.
Dash Cam Reviews and Testing:
Which dash cams are worth buying? Clarity of footage is essential here. Testers looked for clear recordings in day and night-time driving, being able to pick out licence plates from parked cars, pedestrians on pavements and cyclists on the road as early as possible. Ease of use was another priority; a slick interface and simple playback methods scored points. Price from online sources was a final factor.
Direct Line Insurance Top five rated Cameras.
- Nextbase InCarCam 512G
- Cobra CDR 835
- Transcend DrivePro 220
- Garmin Dash Cam 55
- BlackVue DR650S-2CH
Auto Express Top Eight Dash Cams