Motorists are being advised to drive as though the police are watching after research revealed the amount of dashcam evidence submitted to police. Figures uncovered by the RAC showed an average of 89 clips recorded by dashcams are submitted to police forces across the country every day.
The data, discovered through Freedom of Information requests submitted by the RAC, found 32,370 clips were received by 24 police forces that accept such evidence of driving offences in 2019 – double the number received in 2018. And 25 percent of those – more than 8,000 clips – resulted in prosecutions.
All Britain’s 44 police forces now accept dashcam video evidence, with the vast majority accepting submissions via their websites. In 2019, the police used dashcam footage to target drivers jumping red lights, contravening ‘no entry’ signs and even driving without due care and attention.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the force that received the greatest number of clips was London’s Met Police, which accepted more than 8,000 pieces of footage. Surrey was the second-highest, with 3,542 clips submitted, while police in the West Midlands received the third-highest number of clips, with 3,242.
Fourth and fifth spot went to Gwent and Greater Manchester respectively, with the two forces receiving a respective 3,037 and 2,940 dashcam clips. Simon Williams, the RAC’s road safety spokesperson, said the figures should make drivers more “mindful” that the police may catch wind of their actions.
“Even before the decline in the number of police enforcing traffic offences, law-abiding drivers were often frustrated that there was never an officer there to deal with infringements they witnessed,” he said. “The advent of dashcams, phones with cameras and helmet cameras have been a game changer as drivers can now easily submit footage to almost every police force.
“As so many drivers and cyclists are now using dashcams and helmet cameras every road user needs to be very conscious that any of their actions that aren’t in accordance with the law could end up with the police. Some will inevitably find this out the hard way while others will hopefully become increasingly mindful of it.
“With more and more people getting dashcams the message for 2021 has to be: always drive as if you’re being watched by the police. If more drivers who are inclined to break the laws of the road were to think this way, the safer the roads would be for all of us.”