Need an eyewitness? Buy a dash cam

Sophisticated electronics are becoming more affordable every day. For less than $200 you can purchase a dash mounted video camera that will do a very good job of recording what is going on around you while you drive. Why would you want to do this? The video is a reliable witness that you can use to protect your interests when something goes wrong.

A basic camera will record sound and video to flash memory during both day and night. Add a G sensor and the camera will lock the recording in the event of a crash so it cannot be overwritten and lost. GPS is available too. The time, date, location and speed will be recorded with the sound and video if you purchase this option.

I understand that ICBC, and likely all insurance companies, accept dash cam videos and find them invaluable for investigating a claim. The camera is impartial and may corroborate your explanation of events which can be very important if no third party witness information is available. I have not heard of video being used in court to determine crash fault or liability yet but there is little doubt that it would make decisions more precise for the judge.

Collision information is not the only evidence that can be recorded. Dash cams with motion sensing capability will record when movement occurs in it's view. One person used the footage to help police identify the culprit who keyed the paint on their car.


The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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