Image: IAM RoadSmart
IAM RoadSmart has warned that the increased use of dashcams may not result in more prosecutions for dangerous driving – and may also lead to fewer visible traffic patrols, with officers assigned to desk duty to review dashcam footage.
In a press release issued on Monday (21 August), the road safety charity expressed concern that drivers are being lulled into a false sense of security in thinking a dashcam will exonerate them from blame in the event of a crash – when it might do the opposite.
IAM RoadSmart is also calling for ‘consistent national dashcam guidance’ confirming the standard of footage required for prosecutions.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, says dashcam footage does not always show the full picture of a crash – because it is often too short, of poor quality and fails to show how a crash developed.
On Monday, it was announced that all four police forces in Wales are to start using dashcam footage submitted by the public to investigate driving offences. Under ‘Operation Snap’, footage sent to the police has to be unedited and include the whole journey, not just the incident.
However, IAM RoadSmart cites a lack of consistency over which police forces will accept dashcam footage.
Neil Greig said: “IAM RoadSmart is calling for consistent national guidelines on the standard of dash cam footage required for prosecutions, what the police will do with it and how to submit it in the correct way.
“Our members are very supportive of high profile policing but it takes time for police to evaluate the footage, decide what to follow up, trace the driver, serve paperwork and then obtain a successful prosecution within legal time limits.
“Our main concern is that dashcams must not become a replacement for fully trained officers undertaking high profile roads policing.”