Police back dashboard cameras

Dashboard cameras could help in the prosecution of dangerous and reckless drivers, with WA Police saying the cameras may provide important "visual evidence".

And as more Perth motorists install the technology, a Facebook page has been set up to highlight some of the vision.

Already, one video - showing a car on the wrong side of the road and weaving through traffic on Great Eastern Highway in South Guildford - has led to the jailing of a man, 23, for reckless driving. He had his licence suspended for life.

Slater & Gordon senior lawyer Tony O'Hurley said he expected more dash cam video to be used in court cases.

"Dash cam footage is admissible as evidence in a court case as long as it is not used to film a private activity," he said.

"The judge will be the one to determine the weight given to the use of dash cam footage in evidence."

Mr O'Hurley said Slater & Gordon research showed 62 per cent of WA drivers supported using dash cams, with 16 per cent saying they were already using one.

Fencing contractor Warren Duffy created Facebook page Perth Dash Cam Captures in response to impatient, discourteous and reckless driving around Perth.

He wants more people to install the cameras in the hope of improving the overall standard of driving.

"If drivers know that there's a good chance they will be filmed, they might not be so aggressive or impatient," Mr Duffy said.

"And with good cameras now available for under $100, it makes sense to install them."

Wattle Grove father Luke Morgan has had a dashboard camera for about two years and is about to install cameras in the cars of his wife and father-in-law.

"It's all about peace of mind," he said. "We all know Perth drivers don't have a great reputation.

"And if something happens, you want to be confident that you can prove you were not at fault.

"The footage from these cameras gives you this confidence." Mr Morgan captured vision of a woman being knocked over by a car as it reversed out of a parking bay at a Canning Vale shopping centre at the weekend.

He gave his details to the woman in case she needed the vision for an insurance claim.

Supt Mike Peters, from State Traffic Operations, said police supported motorists using dashboard cameras as long as they did not obscure the driver's vision.

But he said people needed to understand that if they did provide video evidence of reckless or dangerous driving, they may be required to go to court as a witness to a police prosecution.

"Hoon behaviour is a blight on our community," Supt Peters said.

"Active reporting with visual evidence is important, coupled with an effort from all of us to educate those who are close to us about driving dangerously on the roads."

Some other incidents featured on the website include:

· A car crossing over into the path of a truck on Great Eastern Highway in Wundowie last month, narrowly avoiding impact.

·A car overtaking a road train on the road between Exmouth and Coral Bay, narrowly missing an oncoming car.

·A truck turning right, just metres in front of an oncoming truck, on Anketell Road in Hope Valley.

·A fatigued driver of a utility did not realise a truck ahead had slowed, forcing her to pass the truck on the inside shoulder of Albany Highway in Bedfordale. She braked and lost control of the ute, which ended up on the other side of the road. No one was injured.

The West Australian

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