Dashcam

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A pair of black devices with small monitors stuck with suckers to the inside of a car windshield with blue tint at the top, seen from inside the vehicle
Two dashcams on a windshield

A dashcam (dashboard camera) is an onboard camera that attaches to the vehicle's interior windscreen by either a supplied suction cup mount or an adhesive-tape mount. It can also be positioned on top of the dashboard or attached to the rear-view mirror with a special mount. It continuously records the road ahead while the vehicle is in motion.[1] Dashcams often provide video evidence in an event of an accident.[2] Various types of dashcam are available on the market, ranging from basic video cameras to ones which also record parameters such as date/time, speed, G-forces and location. Most dashcams are manufactured in Asian countries such as China and Taiwan. Due to the lack of governmental regulation in those countries, there is usually very little quality control in most dashcams. Korea has a very large dashcam market as well, and some Korean manufacturers such as FINEVu, BlackVue and Lukas follow stricter quality control guidelines.[3]

Dashcams are widespread in Russia[4] as a form of sousveillance, additional evidence in court, and as a guard against police corruption and insurance fraud.[5] 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,[6] which was documented from a dozen angles. Thousands of videos showing automobile and aircraft crashes, close calls, and attempts at insurance fraud have been uploaded to video sharing websites like YouTube,[4] an oft-gruesome genre which has generated its own Russian lexicon[7] such as:

  • слабоумие и отвага (slaboumiye i otvaga): "Imbecility and courage"
  • 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 with nerves of steel, reacting adequately to an emergency situation).

Dashcams are gaining in popularity in many parts of Asia, Europe (particularly in France), Australia and the US. They are forbidden by law in Austria,[8] where they carry heavy fines. In Switzerland, their use is strongly discouraged in public space as they may contravene data protection principles. [9] In Germany,[10] while small cameras for personal use in vehicles are allowed, posting footage from them on social-media sites is considered a violation of privacy and thus forbidden. Dashcam footage is only in exceptional cases admissible as evidence in a German court. 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.[1][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dashcams 101: Information Guide". DashCams Direct. 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  2. ^ "How Dashboard Cameras can Help Your Claim". Compensation Connection. 2014-11-25. Retrieved 2014-12-09. 
  3. ^ "The Ultimate Guide To Dashboard Cameras". EyeWitness Dashcams. 2015-03-12. 
  4. ^ a b Damon Lavring (2013-02-15). "Why Almost Everyone in Russia Has a Dash Cam". Wired. 
  5. ^ Galperina, Marina (2012-06-13). "Why Russians Are Obsessed With Dash-Cams". Jalopnik.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  6. ^ "Russian dash cam video: From stunning to bizarre". CBS News. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  7. ^ Galperina, Marina (2012-06-13). "Dash-cams: Russia's Last Hope For Civility And Survival On The Road - ANIMAL". Animalnewyork.com. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  8. ^ "Private Videoüberwachung: Datenschützer warnt vor Selbstjustiz". help.ORF.at. 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Guidelines on video surveillance in vehicles (Dashcams)". edoeb.admin.ch (Last update: July 2013). Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  10. ^ "Gerichtsurteil zu Videokameras im Auto: Dashcams verstoßen gegen Datenschutzgesetz". Der Spiegel. 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  11. ^ "Road Transport Act 2013". Austlii. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2014-02-13. 

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