Most Australian drivers use or want to use a dashboard camera to record the actions of other drivers in traffic accidents or road rage incidents, according to recent research conducted by Slater and Gordon Lawyers.
Motor vehicle accident lawyer, Craig Lynch said 57 per cent of Australians backed the use of ‘dashcams’ with 16 per cent already having a camera and 41 per cent saying they don’t have one but want one.
“We surveyed more than 1,700 Australian drivers about their use of dashboard cameras and the vast majority said they were already using one or wanted to buy one for insurance matters or in situations involving violent assaults,” he said.
“The use of dashcams is undoubtedly on the rise on our roads and it’s predictable that there will be a similar increase in the use of this type of footage in our courts.
“I’m often asked whether dashboard camera footage is admissible as evidence in a court case, and the answer is yes, as long as the dashcam is not used to film a private activity.
“At the end of the day, it will always be for the judge to determine the weight given to the use of dashcam footage in evidence.”
Mr Lynch said dashcam footage could be helpful during court claims in the event of an accident, but drivers must not mistake the camera as a way to actually boost safety.
“We’ve certainly seen cases where footage, from a smartphone or CCTV for instance, has been useful as evidence and I expect we’ll start to see more and more insurance or criminal cases involving dashcam footage,” he said.
“While footage may be useful after an incident, drivers must not become complacent about their own driving behaviours or mistake a dashboard camera for some sort of road safety tool.
“Whether they use a dashboard camera is a driver’s personal choice, but they must ensure the unit doesn’t impede their vision or act as a distraction when they’re behind the wheel.”
He said the research also showed around 40 per cent of respondents said they didn't have a dashboard camera, and didn't see the point of it.