Dashcams: Proof of fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

With the prevalence of video technology and social sharing, it has become relatively common for many individuals to attach GoPros or similar video devices to their helmets, motorcycles, bikes and protective equipment. Earlier this year in Australia an uninsured motorcyclist demonstrated his innocence, and supported his fight for compensation, when his GoPro footage proved that he was not the driver at fault in an accident.


While individuals need to be aware of the restrictions and limitations around the use of dashcams, the Police have praised their use in supporting the claims of not at fault parties.  

Top Five Reasons to invest in a Dashcam:  

1. Capture the actual footage of an accident, be it yours or another’s  

You may not have been involved in the accident, but as a witness you could provide crucial footage of what actually occurred. This could ensure that the wronged party receives their rightful compensation.  

2. Footage can be used as evidence in Court, as long as it was filmed in a public place  

This is an important restriction around the use of dashcams: the footage MUST be taken in public places. The filming of individuals and occurrences on private property cannot be utilised in court and should not be filmed, for legal reasons.  

3. Protect the innocent, especially in instances where the witness reports are not accurate  

Accurate footage of an event supports the innocence of the injured party, especially in cases (such as Chris Porters) where the witness accounts were incorrect.  

4. Capture the details of another driver in a Hit-and-Run accident  

In the unfortunate case of a hit and run accident you may be able to provide the police with the registration details of the vehicle that fled the scene. This could result in you or another receiving compensation and ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice.  

5. Assist the Police in determining the actual cause of the accident  

In some cases it may not be the fault of a driver, an accident could have occurred due to faulty brakes, debris, a substance on the road, or by an animal, pedestrian or cyclist. Being able to determine the true cause of the accident will assist the Police in finalising their investigations. It could also prevent the accident from occurring again.  

Your vehicle and the traffic in your local area may assist you in determining whether or not a Dashcam is a worthwhile investment for you. For example, if you utilise your vehicle on a daily basis to commute to and from a CBD, such as Sydney or Brisbane, it could be money worth spending. If you rarely use your vehicle, it may not be something you consider.  

However, the ability to produce an accurate and true account of an accident, providing it meets the public place requirements, could prove invaluable if witness accounts and driver testimony contradict your account of an accident.

If you would like to discuss the laws regarding the use of Dashcams, or a recent motor vehicle accident, please contact Gouldson Legal and speak to one of our expert lawyers.

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