ChannelLife NZ - Car dashboard cameras on the rise...

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Car dashboard cameras on the rise...

Dashboard cameras are those small, inconspicuous cameras which can be mounted to the dash or attached to the rearview mirror in a range of vehicles.

The concept behind them is to provide another perspective and record in an accident or an infringement, and to negate the whole ‘he said, she said’ procedure that can follow such accidents.

As well as recording incidents inside and outside of your vehicle, these cameras also work as a deterrent to would-be vandals and of thieves.

A lot of the devices come with a blinking light, which lets people know there’s a camera on-board and that denting your bonnet, smashing your windscreen or destroying your wing mirrors will be recorded for the authorities to see!

Anyone who has been unfairly accused of being the reason behind a car crash, a light fender bender or road accident will enjoy the peace of mind that a dashboard camera can bring. Basic models cost just over $50 so they’re great value really

These type of cameras have been on the market for more than ten years, however, it’s only in the last couple of years that they’ve dropped in price and become affordable to the general public. Ten years ago a camera cost around a thousand dollars, but are now able to be manufactured a lot more cheaply, hence the reduction in prices.

For a little over $100, you can consider models with duel cameras - one pointing forward and one pointing back, and some of these even have built-in GPS. Models in this price range can also record HD video in pitch black conditions and often feature a G-Force sensor.

Whilst dashboard cameras don’t directly improve safety, they certainly do improve drivers’ awareness. Knowing that everything is being recorded, and potentially scrutinised later – drivers tend to be a little more careful and safety-conscious. Parents can install cams to monitor teenagers driving habits and use the results as a condition of them being able to continue driving or not.

Texting while behind the wheel will be spotted and will hopefully make the roads safer for everyone. Our roads could potentially become much safer, not only for drivers but for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users too.

As these devices are now widely available and becoming more and more affordable, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the possibilities. They’re easy to install, with some models available in an all-in-one kit which you simply mount on your dashboard either with screws or by suction. More advanced models may require some minimal wiring, which it’s best to hire a professional to do.

The rear-view mirror mounted models are becoming more popular than the dashboard models, as they offer a better vantage point over the road in front and also a better vantage point inside the car for the dual camera models.

When you consider the entry price of basic camera models versus the cost of new parts, solicitors, insurance and mechanics fees that could result from an incident that wasn’t your fault - this is a no-brainer!

Dashboard cameras make a lot of sense given the peace of mind, security and protection they provide while using the road, assuming you are on the right side of the accident of course!

NB. There are also helmet-mounted versions of some camera models for cyclists, that perform the same tasks.

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