"I've caught an incident on my dashcam - what should I do?"
One of the most common and popular modifications to make to a new vehicle isn't a set of shiny alloy wheels, a thumping stereo or custom paint job – it's a dashcam. These tiny gadgets slip neatly behind a car's rear-view mirror and film the road ahead, and anybody who's had to make use of the footage from one knows how useful they can be in proving blame in a collision.
With more and more vehicles being equipped with this tech, it's becoming somewhat of a grey area on what to do if you film something.
So what should you do if you capture an incident on your dashcam? That depends whether you're involved or not. If you've actually suffered a crash yourself, the first steps should always be to stop the car in as safe a place as possible, switch off the engine and check for injuries to yourself and passengers.
If anybody is hurt, call the police and an ambulance immediately. Otherwise, try and remain calm. Exchange details with the driver of the other vehicle, and don't admit blame at the scene. Remember to take photos if you can.
You don't need to call the police to an incident unless absolutely necessary. This could be the case if the other driver is uninsured, tries to leave the scene without giving details, or is under the influence of drink or drugs.
The next step is to call your insurer, and it's here that dashcam footage comes into its own. If the incident wasn't your fault, the dashcam is a vital witness which could prove the other driver is to blame. This is a vital defence in so-called crash-for-cash schemes, where other vehicles deliberately cause incidents in an attempt to defraud insurers.
Be warned, though – if you've told your insurer you have a dashcam, you could be required to provide the footage, regardless of whether it shows you at fault or not.
If you're acting as a witness to another incident, or you've caught some reckless or dangerous driving while out on the road, footage should be submitted to the police where possible. Some forces allow this – police across Wales set up Operation Snap in 2017, where drivers were invited to submit footage via a website.
Other forces may or may not have this set up, but by calling the police non-emergency number you should be able to ascertain if the police can accept your footage. However, you're under no obligation to do this.