Vancouver joins the dashboard camera debate

A UBC student is hoping to convince British Columbians that dashboard cameras are affordable, safe – and an invaluable asset in any crash.

“If anything goes bad, I can use that video as my defense,” says Alex Jang, showing off one of the many cameras he sells on his website. “And that’s what the dashcams are for, having your own personal witness.”

Dashboard cameras are fairly common in countries like Korea, China and Russia, where dozens of people captured the meteor crash last February.

But Jang, whose cameras range from $50 to $350 dollars, believes it’s a worthwhile investment that can help people in ICBC claims.

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“They called me [after a crash], and said ‘I hear you have video evidence, can I see the video evidence? She looked at it, and was definitely able to say ‘okay, it’s his fault.'”

However, ICBC appears lukewarm on cameras in cars. In a statement to The Province, they said the following:

“Driving is a complex task that requires our full attention. While it is not illegal to have a mounted camera in a vehicle … we don’t encourage the use of any electronic devices while driving because there is always the potential for it to be a distraction.”

They don’t appear to be leaving the conversation around driver accountability away anytime soon though. A coroner’s jury recommended them for RCMP vehicles last year. And Allan Lamb of the Pacific Traffic Education Centre says there looks to be little safety concerns.

“There’s no screen you can see, you don’t even have to touch it to turn it on, so from everything that’s I’ve learned about this device, it looks like it’s safe,” he said.


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