UK

Motorists have uploaded 68,000 clips of dangerous driving to police in 3 years

Tens of thousands of video clips and images have been sent to police showing motorists driving carelessly, dangerously and against the law in the last three years, latest figures show.

Since the National Dash Cam Safety Portal was created in summer 2018, a total of 68,279 pieces of footage and photos have been uploaded as part of 32,905 unique public submissions by drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians who have informed on road users putting others at risk.

It says 2021 has been the busiest so far with 19,565 videos uploaded to the platform in the first half of the year and a 341 per cent increase on average in the months of April to June.

Law Breakers: The National Dash Cam Safety Portal has in 3 years received 68,279 pieces of footage and photos since its inception in the summer of 2018

The NDCSP is now in its third year of operation with 37 of the 45 UK police forces currently signed up to use it – and more in talks to join.

The database – created by dashcam manufacturer Nextbase and security software specialist, Egress – provides a simple online portal for any member of the public to send images and videos of other drivers being reckless at the wheel.

With police numbers being cut in the last decade, the portal has provided a simple way for people to submit evidence to the police, which is then reviewed by officers to deem if the footage shows actions that are offence worthy.  

The surge in use of dashcams, with motorists and cyclists using cameras for insurance and claims purposes, and smartphones means people have been capturing clips of poor driving in increasing numbers.

Motoring groups have previously said that it has become a ‘sad state of affairs’ that dwindling police numbers has meant that ‘dash cam vigilantes’ are now required to enforce the nation’s road safety. 

Any images and video taken by the public can be sent to police via the portal and can be used to prosecute dangerous drivers in the same way speed camera clips are used as the sole evidence needed to punish limit-breaking motorists. 

Some 19,565 videos have been uploaded to the platform in the first half of the year and a 341% increase on average in the months of April to June

Some 19,565 videos have been uploaded to the platform in the first half of the year and a 341% increase on average in the months of April to June

Each video requires a short description of the event captured, additional photos and a supporting online questionnaire, which takes around 15 minutes to complete in total.

This can be used as an eye-witness statement if police proceed with punishing a driver caught on camera.  

Nextbase says the the database has saved police a collective 263,240 hours – the equivalent of over 29 years of officers’ time – in the three years it has been in use.

It says 2021 has so far proven to be the system’s busiest time yet. 

As lockdown restrictions began to ease in April, with beer gardens opening and the number of people beginning to go on staycations across the country increased, some 19,565 submissions have been made so far this year.

In the months of April to June, the portal saw 5,457 road traffic offences punished – which is more than double the three-month average since the portal’s inception.  

These penalties can range from court cases to awareness courses, or fixed penalty notices to warning letters. 

All public-generated video footage can be used to target a multitude of offences including dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, contravening solid white lines, mobile phone use, improper control of vehicle and contravening red traffic lights. 

Fewer than one in five of the 33,000 cases sent to police have resulted in no further action, records show. That means around 80% of submissions have sparked court cases, awareness courses, fixed penalty notices or warning letters

Fewer than one in five of the 33,000 cases sent to police have resulted in no further action, records show. That means around 80% of submissions have sparked court cases, awareness courses, fixed penalty notices or warning letters

According to latest records, fewer than one in five of the near-33,000 cases uploaded by the public have resulted in no further action by police. 

Nextbase says this has ‘demonstrated the success of the platform in identifying the most severe of incidents and linking motorists with police in a bid to crack down on this behaviour’. 

Bryn Brooker, head of road safety at the dashcam maker, said, ‘These stats show that the portal is needed now more than ever and, as we name today National Dash Cam Day, I would like to remind the public of the fact that Dash Cam technology can help other road users, as well as you and your passengers. 

‘If we all work together, with the police, to continue to identify the worst of the worst – those dangerous drivers that, put simply, should not be allowed behind the wheel – then we will continue to see motorists from across the country interacting with the Portal. 

‘This is why it was built, to make the roads of this country safer for those of us that are just trying to get from A to B and go about our daily routines. 

‘We have watched this platform grow from both a public and police perspective and are hugely encouraged by its continued appeal.’

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