General

Dashcam firm launches spy-in-the-car campaign

Nextbase setting up app to send its dashcam footage straight to the police.

THINKING OF buying a new dashcam for your car? Well if you choose a Nextbase model, you’ll be helping set up a nationwide video camera snooping campaign. The electronics manufacturer is teaming up with the police to launch a new ‘online portal’ where its cameras (and other manufacturer’s kit) will be able to send footage directly to the relevant English police force.

It’s also hooked up with the anti-speed campaigning charity BRAKE and Cycling UK, both of whom are backing the scheme. Nextbase says it’s aimed at improving road safety, by letting drivers more easily send footage of what they think is dangerous driving straight to the cops.

We’re not sure about this one. Okay, no one wants dangerous drivers out there – and as bikers, we are more at risk in an accident. But we also don’t think that George Orwell’s 1984 was an instruction manual, and turning tens of thousands of untrained drivers into unpaid traffic cops backed by a private company worries us.

Having a load of spy cameras, linked directly to the police, driving about the roads of Britain also sounds like a recipe for rider harassment. Easily-spooked drivers often think bikes are speeding and breaking the law when they’re not, and there’s also scope for vindictive posting of footage, in an attempt to ‘get even’ after road rage incidents or the like. The chance for malicious postings, the harassment of extended police investigations and possible miscarriages of justice seems to be increased by this scheme.

If we want a dashcam in future, we reckon we’ll be shopping elsewhere. What do you reckon? A good idea to clamp down on dangerous driving? Or a nasty little nark's scheme to turn drivers into unpaid secret traffic cops?

Comments

The whole 'specific race' replica helmet thing is a bit worn out. Between Rossi's ever frequent offerings and now most of the pack having 'special event' versions... it all smells more of a cash grab than filling a need.

Donteatpeople's picture

The cameras are not linked directly to police. Users of the scheme are not unpaid traffic cops, Police officers have the power to make decisions about the outcome for the offender, the camera owners only have the power to press send. Footage from easily-spooked drivers of bikes not speeding or breaking the law will just be ignored. The scope for vindictive posting of footage, in an attempt to ‘get even’ after road rage incidents or the like only exits if there are two people involved and both have done something wrong.

I’m much more interested in the scope for filming people on their phones and generally acting like idiots. If there was a realistic chance of bad behaviour having consequences it might actually discourage people and help prevent some deaths.

... welcome to the future. Data is power and money. How to control the population... have them inform on themselves (and pay for the investment too). At the moment the units may well need manual 'send' but from that data there will eventually develop an algorithm to see and dispatch autonomously. Turning our cameras into enforcement and revenue generating machines. No thanks.

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