Lifestyles

Dash-mounted camera could protect you after crash

Sophisticated electronics are becoming more affordable every day.

For less than $200 you can purchase a dash-mounted video camera that will do a very good job of recording what is going on around you while you drive.

Why would you want to do this? The video is a reliable witness that you can use to protect your interests when something goes wrong.

A basic camera will record sound and video to flash memory during both day and night. Add a G sensor and the camera will lock the recording in the event of a crash so it cannot be overwritten and lost.

GPS is available, too. The time, date, location and speed will be recorded with the sound and video if you purchase this option.

I understand that ICBC, and likely all insurance companies, accept dash cam videos and find them invaluable for investigating a claim. The camera is impartial and may corroborate your explanation of events which can be very important if no third-party witness information is available.

I have not heard of video being used in court to determine crash fault or liability yet but there is little doubt that it would make decisions more precise for the judge.

Collision information is not the only evidence that can be recorded. Dash cams with motion sensing capability will record when movement occurs in it's view. One person used the footage to help police identify the culprit who keyed the paint on their car.

For more information about this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.