The police force has developed a new plan to take advantage of the significant rise in video recording equipment fitted in motor vehicles. The possible proposals mean that motorists who record road traffic offences taking place could fill in an online form and upload the footage directly to the police and cameras are already well-utilised by cyclists who capture details of any accidents they may be involved in.
In a well reported case last month a motorist was captured on film appearing to eat a bowl of cereal at the wheel and the hope is that motorists will unite against wrong doers to help create a safer environment for all road-users.
A representative for West Midlands police road traffic unit said: “West Midlands Police is going to introduce a new way of ‘self reporting’ due care and attention-type road traffic offences. The obvious benefit is, in the event of a collision, it can show the reason for the collision and liability. But this could work in favour of both the camera user and the non-camera user”
The spokeperson warned however that the standard of driving by the person submitting the footage would also be considered by accident investigators and this may well act as deterrent for motorists to get involve lest they open themselves up to prosecution or liability. Loud music, a mobile phone conversation or the road user displaying an aggressive demeanour may be factors that a court consider.
There may well be an issue with how this footage is introduced should a matter be contested. For example, if the police wish to use such footage as part of a prosecution for dangerous driving, there are strict procedural hurdles that the Prosecution must overcome to secure its use during a case. The person who recorded the footage may need to make a statement and ultimately attend court and this is often where innocent bystanders are deterred from assisting in cases as civilians can find the whole process intimidating, time consuming and an inconvenience they simply do not need.
For more articles on Motoring Law related topics, please check out our News section by clicking here. Our specialist Motoring Lawyers Neil Sargeant and Ruth Peters are Motor Law experts and have defended a range of Motoring Offences such as Drink Driving Offences, Drug Driving, Speeding Offences, Careless Driving or Driving Whilst Unfit.