A dashcam (dashboard camera) is an onboard camera that attaches to the vehicle's interior windscreen by either a supplied suction cup mount or a tape mount. Dashcams continuously record the road ahead whilst the vehicle is in motion or driven on the roadway. Dashcams often provide video evidence in an event of an accident. Various types of dashcam are available on the market, ranging from basic video cameras to ones which also records parameters such as date/time, speed, G-forces and location.
Dashcams are widespread in Russia as a form of sousveillance, additional evidence in court, and as a guard against police corruption and insurance fraud. They have been called "ubiquitous" and "an on-line obsession", and are so prevalent that dashcam footage was the most common footage of the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor, which was documented from a dozen angles. Thousands of videos showing automobile crashes, close calls, and attempts at insurance fraud have been uploaded to video sharing websites like YouTube, an oft-gruesome genre which has generated its own Russian lexicon such as:
- слабоумие и отвага (slaboumiye i otvaga): "Courage and dementia"
- железобетонное очко (zhelezobetonnoye ochko): "Anus of Reinforced Concrete" (i.e. "one whose anus is made of reinforced concrete", an honorific for an especially skilled driver reacting adequately to an emergency situation).
Dashcams are forbidden by law in Austria, Switzerland and Spain. In Australia and Poland recording on public roadways is allowed as long as the recording does not infringe upon one's personal privacy in a way that may be deemed inappropriate in a court of law.
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