An online platform has been launched today that will provide a single resource for road users across England and Wales to submit video evidence of dangerous driving to police forces signed up to the initiative, which has been welcomed by Cycling UK.
Set up by dash cam manufacturer Nextbase, the National Dash Cam Safety Portal will allow motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists alike to submit footage they have captured showing examples of poor driving.
For the forces involved, it will substitute the various one-off systems they have in place for people to submit video footage.
It follows a similar portal initially launched by North Wales Police and subsequently picked by other forces across the country as part of Operation Snap.
Cycling UK’s head of campaigns and advocacy, Duncan Dollimore, commented: “Public cuts have led to road police numbers plummeting in recent years by nearly 50%, whilst casualties have increased among all road users.
“Given that reduction in resources, it’s crucial that efficient and standardised online reporting systems are introduced to facilitate the submission of dash, bike and helmet-cam footage of irresponsible road use.
“Our police cannot be everywhere at once, but with Nextbase’s portal we have the next best thing – a one-stop shop for the collation of evidence our forces can rely upon. It can only lead to safer roads for everyone.”
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at the road safety charity Brake, said: “This is a fantastic initiative which couldn’t be more timely.
“The increasing popularity of dash cams is a huge positive for road safety. However, with more drivers than ever seeking to report illegal behaviour the burden on the police has increased.
“This portal is an elegant solution which enables the police to process this vital data without wasting their scarce resources. We fully support this initiative and urge its swift adoption across the UK."
In the case of a force not yet being signed up to the platform, the system will generate a witness statement and reference code which can be taken directly to the relevant force for processing, where your footage can be viewed securely.
According to Cycling UK, police forces linked to the portal via their own platforms include Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Cheshire Constabulary, Essex Police, Hampshire Constabulary, the Metropolitan Police Service, Norfolk Constabulary, North Yorkshire Police, Suffolk Constabulary, Surrey Police, Sussex Police, Thames Valley Police, Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police, North Wales Police and South Wales Police.
Other forces that will receive footage directly through the portal include West Mercia Police, Warwickshire Police, West Midlands Police and Wiltshire Police.
Superintendent Paul Moxley, head of operations at West Mercia Police, said: “While the benefits to motorists of this ground-breaking portal are clear, this convenience extends to police forces, since a process which previously took hours can now be reduced to a matter of minutes.
“The key in making this work for us has been determining a way of providing footage in an accessible format, whilst the creation of a witness statement is also integral to ensuring the process is as efficient as possible.
“In embracing this new technology, it enables the concerned road user to help us positively influence driver behaviour to make our roads a safer place for all users,” he added.
Nextbase director Richard Browning said: “The surge in dash cam usage in recent years is beneficial to motorists looking to protect themselves in the event of incidents on the roads, but it has meant an increase in the amount of footage sent to police forces.
“Until now forces have not had the means to process this footage so the National Dash Cam Safety Portal has been developed with this in mind.”
He added: “The portal allows all road users to submit footage captured on devices, such as dash cams, which will enable the police to reduce such offences, ultimately making the roads safe for all users.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.