The number of driver dashcam submissions sent to police has increased by 77% in just two years

Bad drivers take note – Big Brother motorists are turning to dashcams to report dangerous behavior on the road, with a 77 percent increase in video submissions from the public to police in just two years.

26 of the 43 regional police forces in England and Wales responded to a Freedom of Information request submitted by dashcam experts iCompario and the findings show that more and more motorists are paying attention to unreliable driving behaviour.

An average of 342 dashcam footage was submitted to police every day in 2023 – a total of 72,000 videos – the FOI shows.

The number of entries has increased year on year following the rollout of the Police Operation Snap dashcam portal in December 2017.

Publicly generated video footage can also be used to tackle careless driving, breaking solid white lines and red lights, and illegal mobile phone use

And much of what is submitted is useful to the police. It is suggested that roughly 70 percent of dashcam footage submitted leads to police action – from warning letters to demerit points, prosecutions and fines, and possibly even jail time.

An estimated 90,000 fines have been issued due to ‘do-it-yourself traffic cops’.

Taking into account the other 17 police forces that did not respond to the report, the figure is likely to be even higher, with motorists being hit with fines, points and possible prison sentences thanks to the car version of the neighborhood watch.

The FOI found that as many as 176,000 dashcam footage – showing incidents of dangerous or law-breaking driving – has been submitted in the past three years.

Some places in England and Wales are triggering the dashcam levy, with South Yorkshire seeing an increase of 1,882 per cent in the number of entries in the last two years.

Hampshire saw a 469 percent increase and Humberside a 205 percent increase, with Warwickshire and Lincolnshire completing the top five dashcam spots with 191 and 172 percent increases respectively.

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police commented: ‘There is no doubt that video footage of offenses can be extremely helpful in changing driving behaviour.

‘We often hear that drivers take fewer risks and are more patient and courteous because they fear being caught on dashcam and being prosecuted.

‘For road safety, this change in driving behavior is invaluable in reducing the number of deaths or serious injuries on our roads.’

The growing popularity of dashcams

Local motorists appear to be rushing to punish drivers caught breaking the dashcam law, with the purchase of electronic devices for both private and commercial vehicles having surged in popularity in recent years.

Google search data shows an average of 49,500 searches for ‘dash cam’ in Britain per month. This is an increase of 49 percent in the past three months and an increase of 22 percent in the past year.

More than three-quarters of Brits (75 percent) believe dashcams should be used by all drivers to tackle traffic violations, according to a survey of 2,000 people by iCompario.

Despite this, just under one in three drivers (31 percent) say they currently use a dashcam.

Who is on the bad warpath for drivers? Generation Z apparently, as the data shows that a third of 18 to 24 year olds already own a dashcam (35 percent) – the most of any age group.

On the other hand, only 16 percent of those over 65 said they own a dashcam.

Looking at your mobile phone is one of the most common illegal driving offenses caught on dashcam, along with running a red light.  82 percent of camera owners say they have witnessed illegal activities.

Looking at your mobile phone is one of the most common illegal driving offenses caught on dashcam, along with running a red light. 82 percent of camera owners say they have witnessed illegal activities.

What do Big Brother motorists capture on camera?

More than three-quarters of those who carry a camera (82 percent) said they had witnessed and recorded illegal activity on the roads.

A cheeky look at your mobile phone is one of the biggest catches with a dashcam: almost half of drivers with a device have caught other drivers red-handed while using their phone on the road (45 percent).

This could cost the offender up to six points on their driving license and a £200 fine.

A third have seen other motorists run a red light (30 per cent), which carries a minimum of three points on your license and a £100 fine.

Andrew Davies from iCompario said: ‘Dashcams are vital for improving road safety.

‘They can prevent false claims, reduce insurance and, as our findings show, ensure those who drive dangerously are held accountable.

‘The public now has an extra eye on the roads and this should be a warning to all motorists that they could be caught on other drivers’ dashcam footage.

‘Dashcam technology is constantly improving and is likely to be used by more and more motorists, which will in turn make the roads safer.’

The most common illegal driving activities captured by dashcams – and the possible fines and points you could get:

1. Using your phone while driving

45 percent have captured video of drivers doing this (minimum 6 points and £200 fine)

Will lose license if caught within the first two years of passing the test

2. Speeding

40 percent (minimum 3 points and £100 fine)

3. Driving through a red light

30 percent (minimum 3 points and £100 fine)

4. Hogging in the middle lane

29 percent (classified as ‘careless driving’, minimum 3 points and £100)

5. Entrepreneurship

29 percent (classified as ‘careless driving’, minimum 3 points and £100)

Source – iCompario FOI request

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