Out of all the new technologies emerging for us to use in our cars, dashcams are proving to be one of the most useful gadgets. With the ability to capture whatever happens when out on the road, these devices are quickly becoming important tools to help drivers, cops, and other parties to improve road safety.
Drivers get dashcams to protect themselves from dangerous drivers by recording what happens in the case of an accident or law-breaking. But the dash cam also records what its owner is doing and could end up costing them a fortune – with police able to seize the camera’s memory card and use the footage as proof of dangerous driving.
One young Sydney motorcyclist has found this out the hard way – racking up fines totaling more than $75,000 after his helmet camera was seized by the police.
In September last year, NSW Police officers attached to the North Sydney highway patrol charged a 23-year-old male rider for “driving at a speed dangerous to the public” and for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h.
He was originally stopped after allegedly being detected at 162km/h in an 80km/h zone.
“At the time of the incident, police observed that the rider was wearing a video camera and was filming his riding,” said a post on the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Facebook page. “Due to the seriousness of the offence, police seized the memory card from the camera as evidence.”
More details of this story from AWM:
Now, according to Peter Khoury of the NRMA, Australian police are ready to seize more dashboard cameras. They may even be able to use them to accumulate evidence against drivers who are violating the laws.
“I think the likelihood is that it’s going to continue. It will be used increasingly,” he told Daily Mail Australia. “The important point is just assumed there are eyes on you all the time. What we’re seeing here now is not just other people’s dash cams being used to crack down on bad behavior, but also your own [camera].”
Khoury said that it is entirely legal for police to seize dashboard cameras. He warned drivers to be careful if they have one installed.
“The message to the public has to be, be careful. It would appear [the police] are using it for the most extreme forms of dangerous behavior, and I don’t think the public would have a problem with that.”
Recently, the NRMA conducted a survey of more than 2,000 drivers and found that about 13 percent have some sort of dashboard camera.
“That demonstrates there are more and more sets of eyes on people as they’re driving, so it’s really important that you do the safe thing and the right thing,” Khoury said.