The UK’s vigilante motorists are sending more than 35 dash cam videos to UK police forces every day, according to new research. Data accessed by consumer car magazine WhatCar? via Freedom of Information requests to every UK police force revealed more than 52,000 pieces of footage have been submitted since 2017.
According to What Car?, the use of dash cams has grown by about 850 percent since 2017, when insurance companies started accepting footage as evidence for claims and courts first used footage to convict an offender. Now, 35 of the UK’s 42 police forces have a system in place to process and fine drivers and motorcyclists based on dash-cam evidence from other road users.
Overall, the figures show just over 10 percent of the incidents filmed were deemed severe enough to warrant court prosecutions, while 9.6 percent resulted in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). Just three percent resulted in drivers being given a warning, while 10.5 percent saw a driver sent on an awareness course.
The analysis found Dyfed-Powys Police, in south Wales, uses dash cam footage more than any other force in the UK, having taken action over more than 80 percent of the videos it has received. Of those, 40 percent received a warning, while 18.6 percent were prosecuted in court and 18.4 percent were asked to attend a driver awareness course. Just four percent received an FPN.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, London’s Metropolitan Police has received the largest number of submissions, accounting for almost half the UK’s dash cam submissions over the four years since 2017. The force acted in 45 percent of cases, issuing driver awareness courses to about 14 percent of offenders and FPNs in 9.6 percent of cases. Just three percent of submissions resulted in a driver getting a warning, while 18.9 percent ended up in court.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said the data showed drivers were more likely to face punishment for reckless driving than ever before.
“Our Freedom of Information request shows the vast majority of police forces in the country can now receive and process footage from dash cams in a matter of hours, meaning reckless driving is more likely than ever to lead to a fine or even a court summons,” he said.