Police forces around the UK have received more than 52,000 dash cam recordings of alleged dangerous driving in the last three years, with action being taken against motorists in more than a third of cases.
One in ten submissions, has resulted in a court prosecution, according to data from forces around the country.
A further 9.6 per cent resulted in a fixed penalty notice (FPN) and in 10.5 per cent of cases motorists were sent on a driver awareness training course. In three per cent of incidents drivers were given an official police warning about their actions.
On average, forces receive 35 dash cam submissions every day, a figure which has soared since dash cams have become more common and forces have set up systems for accepting and processing dash cam footage.
Sales of dash cams have shot up by 850 per cent since 2017, when insurance companies began accepting footage as evidence in claims. Many drivers have since started using them to support their claims or protect themselves against scams such as crash-for-cash schemes. Learner drivers have even been offered discounted driving lessons to encourage people to buy the devices.
In 2018 a national dash cam portal was set up to allow drivers to submit footage to the relevant police force. And thirty-five of the UK’s 42 police forces currently have a system in place to process and fine drivers and motorcyclists based on dash cam evidence from other road users.
According to the data, obtained by What Car? through Freedom of Information legislation, Dyfed-Powys Police in South Wales is the most active in using dash cam footage. It has taken action over 81.3 per cent of the videos it has received, with 40.2 per cent of offenders receiving a warning, 18.6 per cent prosecuted in court and 18.4 per cent asked to attend a driver awareness course. Just four per cent were handed an FPN.
London’s Metropolitan Police received the largest volume of submissions – nearly 25,000 videos over four years – and acted in 45.4 per cent of cases, issuing court proceedings to 18.9 per cent of offenders, driver awareness courses to 13.9 per cent, FPNs to 9.6 per cent and warnings to 2.9 per cent.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Our Freedom of Information request shows the vast majority of police forces in the country can now receive and process footage from dash cams in a matter of hours, meaning reckless driving is more likely than ever to lead to a fine or even a court summons.”