Thousands report bad driving by using dash camera portal websites

dash camera portal
Dash camera footage is now responsible for thousands of driving convictions (Picture iStock/Toa55)

Ever thought of buying a dash camera for your car? More than three million UK drivers have already installed one of the dashboard-mounted devices. And the cameras have been such a hit with car owners that police are increasingly using the footage people send to them for making convictions.

In July 2018, the National Dash camera Safety Portal (NDSP) was set up. Since then, drivers, motorbikers and cyclists have uploaded more than 10,000 clips of footage. Around half of these have resulted in the police making convictions.

What is the NDSP?

Leading dash cam producer Nextbase set up the NDSP. It is a dash camera portal website that enables drivers to upload the footage of dangerous driving from their dash cameras. Nextbase says 28 of the UK’s 39 police forces have signed up to the NDSP. This enables them to receive the footage via a secure, encrypted, police-approved link. Nextbase doesn’t have any access to the contents of the footage. The NDSP isn’t just available to owners of Nextbase cameras; footage from any camera or mobile device can be uploaded.

Is this the same thing as Operation Snap?

The NDSP and Operation Snap are essentially the same thing covered with a different wrapper. Operation Snap is a dash camera portal for individual police forces committed to investigating road traffic offences that dash cams capture. In many cases, the NDSP points drivers to a force’s Operation Snap web page. The offences police investigate include dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, careless driving, using a hand-held mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt, jumping red lights and crossing solid white lines to overtake.

How did these schemes come about?

With the increasing popularity of dash cameras, police started receiving unsolicited snaps of bad driving. Initially they could only use the clips like eye-witness accounts. This meant officers would have to conduct interviews and fill out reams of paperwork. As this was so time consuming they rarely bothered pursuing cases.

Then in 2016, police in North Wales realised they could handle the footage in the same way they used pictures from their traffic cameras. Their Operation Snap pilot was so successful, the Department for Transport rolled it out nationally.

dash camera portal
The cameras act like a permanent witness in your car (Picture iStock/Beeldbewerking)

How are drivers prosecuted?

Police watch the videos to decide if an offence has been committed and how severe it is. Depending on its seriousness, police send drivers a warning letter, encourage them to go on retraining courses, send fixed penalty fines or prosecute them in court. As with a speeding ticket, if drivers don’t want to accept the fixed penalty, they can argue it in court.

How do you submit footage?

You either go to the NDSP website or your local constabulary’s Operation Snap page. You must fill out personal details and information about the alleged offence before you upload the footage. A possible prosecution may be affected if the footage has already been shown on social media. If police proceed with your evidence, you’ll need to make an official statement. You may have to attend court, although according to Nextbase only 1-2 per cent of cases end up in court.

Should you buy a dash cam?

There are a number of very compelling reasons to invest in a dash cam. Decent ones may cost a couple of hundred pounds but the devices do give you the peace of mind of knowing there’s an impartial witness in the car.

A dash cam could protect you against crash for cash scams where other drivers cause accidents to make expensive and hard-to-prove personal injury claims. It could also save you from paying out on an expensive insurance claim if it proves someone else is responsible for an accident. And it may save your no-claims discount.

If you’re searching for a dash cam, check out a wide range at the Green Flag Shop.


5 comments on “Thousands report bad driving by using dash camera portal websites

  1. Mr.myles sullivan 21/04/2020 11:57 AM

    I ordered a dash cam a few days ago . Before I saw this message.
    If I had seen this message I would have ordered from you as I know you are reliable and give the best advice.

  2. Ray Stevens 21/04/2020 1:33 PM

    , driving out there got so bad, i fitted a camera to the front and rear of my car, then thought heck do i go over the top and fit one to each side as well nope thought i

  3. Olive Kennedy 13/04/2021 2:45 PM

    I would like to help one

  4. Eric Marshall 13/04/2021 7:57 PM

    I have had a Nextbase dash cam for quite a while now. I would now like a camera at the rear.
    The model is the 312GW but am I right in saying that I would have to purchase a new model so as to incoperate a rear camera .

  5. Andrew Alexander 07/05/2021 10:55 PM

    I have a nextbase camera front and rear and I find it very difficult in as much as you would need a degree to be able to know how to operate it. For instance they tell you to format the card every two weeks, I’ve managed it once but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to do it again. The handbook supplied has no index so you are faced with reading the whole thing again to find out how to do things. Buy a simple dash am! If I hadn’t spent hours fitting mine front and rear and could get my money back I would gladly accept it!

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