Road users are making use of their dashcams and helmet cameras with a staggering number of clips sent to a police database to report other motorists for serious driving offences.
A massive 57,000 cases have been raised to forces since a special portal was set up back in July 2018, which allows the public to report dangerous and careless driving witnessed on the road that’s supplemented with video evidence.
Nextbase, which originally created the National Dash Cam Safety Portal (NDCSP) four years ago, says 70 per cent of these cases have resulted in punishment of some form – and the database has saved almost half a million hours of officer time gathering evidence and collating supporting eye witness statements.
Shopped by other road users: Some 57,000 cases of serious driving offences have been reported to police by motorists via an online database that feeds directly to the police
The figures have been released on National Dash Cam Day – one of the lesser-known annual events in the calendar.
Nextbase, which is one of the biggest dashcam brands on the market, has used it to celebrate the huge success of its portal for people to shop other road users to the authorities if they capture offences on their devices.
All but three UK forces now use the database, which allows the public to provide evidence that police can use to prosecute offenders.
The database has a simple upload system that lets users send their videos along with 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, meaning officers do not need to spend time sourcing evidence.
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.
All but three UK forces now use the portal, which allows the public to upload evidence captured on their dashcams that police can then use to prosecute offenders
Nextbase’s latest update claims that over 57,000 cases of ‘serious driving offences’ have been sent in by the public since July 2018, with seven in ten of these resulting in punishment of varying severity – from warning letters to fines, court cases and bans.
By not having to source witness statements themselves, the portal is estimated to have saved 458,000 hours of police time – or 52 full years.
‘Police aren’t just sitting on these videos – they are using them,’ explained Bryn Brooker, head of road safety at Nextbase.
‘Almost every force in the country is now signed up, with the remaining handful intending to do so soon.
‘The system we built four years ago is not only helping police, it is removing dangerous drivers from the road.’
The dashcam maker says there could be far more cases of serious driving offences being punished if more motorists make use of the database.
A survey of over 2,000 UK drivers found that they see an average of 14 illegal driving offences every week.
These are most commonly speeding, which two thirds (67 per cent) of drivers polled saying they saw this on a weekly basis, followed by failing to indicate (60 per cent), tailgating (52 per cent), and dangerous overtaking (52 per cent).
Motorists on average witness 14 serious driving offences a week, though 75% polled said they have never reported them. Increased use of dashcams could see this change in the coming years
Despite this, three quarters (75 per cent) stated that they had never reported a traffic incident before, let alone used the online portal.
Of the quarter of drivers who have turned in other drivers to police via traditional methods, the majority said the process was ‘complicated’.
In total, two in five (41 per cent) of drivers surveyed said they had neglected to report a serious driver offence because they didn’t know how.
With dashcams set to become more popular, with some insurers offering to reduce premiums if motorists use one, there is likely to be an increase in the volume of dangerous driving cases reported to police annually.