A new website has been launched by manufacturer Nextbase allowing drivers to upload their dash-cam footage of dangerous drivers they’ve filmed, thereby making it easy for drivers to submit their footage to the police.
The initiative, which has already received widespread praise, allows owners of any brand of dash-cam, action camera, mobile phone or any other type of camera from any manufacturer to upload footage to the National Dash-Cam Safety Portal (NDSP), and then to send it on to the appropriate local England or Wales police force.
As well as uploading footage, drivers can use the free portal to submit witness statements, all of which are securely stored, and only viewable by the police force to which they are submitted.
How Does It Work?
Part of the Nextbase website, the portal at https://www.nextbase.co.uk/national-dash-cam-safety-portal/ shows a clickable map of England and Wales divided into regions. Drivers with footage to submit are asked to click on the region where the incident recorded took place. Clicking on the geographic region then reveals the police force for all regions. Clicking on the relevant police force region should, when / if the police force has chosen to use the portal, send you to the relevant police force website and allow you to submit your statement and footage.
Drivers submitting footage are also prompted to contact their local force by email or by calling 101, and to email their witness statement to a given police email address in order to help speed up the process of reporting the incident.
Since the initiative is still in its early stages, many of the relevant police forces are not yet fully participating in the video-submitting system.
Dash-Cam Footage Can Be Used In Court
Dash-cam footage can provide useful information and evidence in court cases and the first jail sentence for dangerous driving that used dash cam footage as its main evidence took place in 2015.
Things To Remember
Drivers submitting footage and statements via the portal should be aware that by doing so they are filing an official police report, the process can require the driver to take time to answer lots of questions, and that there is a possibility that they may be required to appear in court. Also, if the footage shows the driver who submitted the footage to be breaking the law e.g. speeding to catch up with and film the perpetrator, they may also be prosecuted.
The NDSP web page provides FAQs to answer questions about the type/quality of footage and the process.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Anyone who drives on UK roads, particularly as part of their job and/or their daily commute is likely to have witnessed dangerous or irresponsible driving. Dash-cams have provided one way for drivers to have some fall-back protection against the reckless and/or criminal actions of others and against potentially costly insurance implications. The footage provides something more than just testimony and conjecture.
The big advantage of the NDSP portal is that, for the first time, it provides a central point for drivers to go to submit footage, and it simplifies the process of submitting footage and statements to the correct police force.
Critics could argue, however, that this initiative could be promoting a trade-off between road safety and privacy, and could be encouraging a culture of citizen surveillance and suspicion.
For Nextbase, the portal (and the media reports about it) will provide some positive publicity if the system works properly and securely, and since it is part of their product website, could even lead to some more sales of dash-cams.