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50% Of Drivers Considering Dash Cams

Driver Dash Cam Safety

Dash Camera Professionally Installed
It is no doubt that the use of dash cameras has increased massively since their boom in 2015, where sales increased by 395%. This made them the fastest growing consumer electronic item. However, with 31.5 million vehicles on the UK roads, is it possible that 21 million of these will soon have dash cams installed?

Looking at a recent poll held by the AA, one fifth (20%) of drivers already own a dash camera, while another 50% are thinking about getting one. This clearly shows a strong interest amongst drivers and with good reason, but something must be stopping them from taking the leap.

Why You Should Install A Dash Cam

There are a huge amount of benefits to owning a dash camera, and while it can require a bit of investment initially, the payoff is massive in the long run.

Parking Protection – One of the main reasons for many people getting a dash cam is the built-in parking mode. This allows the camera to record movement or impact around your car while the ignition is switched off. The footage recorded by a trigger of the g-sensor will be saved to the memory of the camera and not overwritten, which provides solid evidence in the event of criminal damage or theft.

For parking mode to be enabled, the camera must be hard-wired to the battery of the vehicle. This can be done through a professional installation. For more information on installation services, click here.

Bad Driving – There are times while driving that everyone makes mistakes. However, some bad driving is extremely dangerous, and often illegal. It is becoming more and more common for footage of illegal driving to be submitted for review, with growing police support around the matter.

We wrote about this on our sister site Fleet Witness, read about it here.

Liability – Proving liability in the event of a crash has always been a battle for those involved. If nobody was around to see the accident, then it is your word against another. This makes it very hard to assign blame and penalties. Dash cams directly solve this problem. By providing undisputable video evidence of what actually happened, you could save thousands from being wrongly blamed.

Crash For Cash The unfortunate rise in fraudulent claims is a cause for concern for any road user. This involves a staged accident, where an innocent driver appears to have caused the accident. More about this here. Claims from vehicle damage to personal injury can quickly add up to amounts as high as £30,000. This can all be stopped by spending a few hundred on a quality vehicle camera.

Not only do individual cases of this rack up thousands of pounds in fines, but insurance premiums are also rising due to this. This means that all road users are facing the effects of crash for cash.

What’s Stopping People?F70 Inflight Front

With so many reasons to buy a dash camera right at your fingertips, there must be something that is holding back the 50% of people who are only thinking rather than doing.

We can only speculate of course. But, it is true that in the past, drivers have faced difficulty in making claims with their recorded footage. However, with the growing acceptance of the importance of dash cams from the government and police, along with funding for video evidence in a road safety plan, the majority of valid footage is now being used.

Along with the increasing support from the government and police, big names in the insurance industry are also very much aware of their benefits. This can be seen through discounts for having a dashcam being offered on insurance premiums. There have also been statements that dashcams should be a compulsory addition to every vehicle.

Cost

It is a common misconception that a quality dash camera has to break the bank, which is likely to put a lot of people off – especially when one of the reasons for them in the first place is saving money! However, there is actually a large range of dash cams on offer, at price points to meet nearly any budget. Listed below are some of the good options out there.

Entry Level/Budget – The Thinkware F70 is a fantastic low-cost option. Despite the entry level price point of £99.99, it boasts an impressive spec including 1080pHD recording @30fps, and a time-lapse parking mode, extending the duration of regular parking mode. To see the Thinkware F70, click here.

Mid-Range – A mid-range budget will open up your options a lot. A very good option here is the Thinkware F200-2CH. This camera system provides fantastic value, as you get both a front and rear camera for well under £200. With this, it records in 1080pHD from the front, and 720pHD from the rear, and comes with built-in WiFi. An all-around great camera. To see the Thinkware F200, click here.

Alternatively, you could go for something like the NextBase 512GW for a quality camera recording at 1440p Quad HD, with a 3″ LCD display screen. To see the Nextbase 512GW, click here.

Top of the Range – When it comes to high-level dash cams, the BlackVue DR750S-2CH is the clear winner for us. It has an impressive list of features including; 1080p HD recording from both front and rear cameras, built-in GPS and Wifi allowing a smartphone to be connected to the camera in order to review or download footage, and a discreet, aesthetic design. To see the BlackVue DR750S, click here.

Installation

Installation is another common concern/misconception around the process of purchasing a dash camera. This is usually for one of two reasons.

Lack of Knowledge – Many people think that the installation of a dash camera is a complicated process, whereas It doesn’t have to be at all. Really, you have two options – both of which are very easy! The first of which is powering your camera through the cigarette lighter socket. This involves attaching your camera to the windscreen yourself, and simply plugging it in. This provides continuous recording while driving, and will turn on automatically with the car, however you will not be able to use parking mode, and there will be a wire dangling from the camera to the socket.

The other option is a professional installation, which many people don’t think about. This will involve a fully trained auto-engineer hard-wiring the camera to your vehicles battery. This will allow parking mode as the camera has access to power from the battery of the car. You can see more about professional dash camera installation here.

Mess From Cables – Another aspect of installation that often puts people off is the thought of having messy cables going between the cameras. It makes sense, we all take pride in our cars. However, with a professional installation that is not the case. Engineers are able to install dash cameras so that all the wiring is hidden in the trim of the vehicle, no damage will be done, and all you will see is an inch of cable going up from the camera into the trim.

How To Ensure Footage Is Valid

For dash camera footage to be accepted in the event of an accident, it must abide by a few dash camera laws.

This infographic sums up these laws nicely:

Dash Camera Laws

Is Dash Cam Footage Used?

There aren’t many people who know how submitted dash camera footage is used better than a Director of Insurance. This is what Janet Conner, Director of Insurance for the AA had to say about it:

“Data is king in the event of a collision and dashcam footage provides proper, reliable evidence that can establish fault. What’s more, it can and, based on the Operation Snap evidence does, lead to the prosecution of dangerous drivers.”

“Similarly, dash cam evidence submitted to insurance companies can be decisive in ensuring that fault can be properly attributed where otherwise, circumstantial evidence and witness statements may suggest a different outcome.”

In Conclusion

There is a huge amount of support behind dash cameras and their effect on road safety. It is also undeniable that they can be pivotal in proving innocence in many situations. With the points made in mind, it would not be a surprise to see 67% of drivers using dash cams. It can only be a positive for peace of mind, both physically and financially.

 

 

For more information on our products click below. 

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To speak to one of our specialists, feel free to get in touch using the form below.

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Dash Cam – What is Parking Mode?

Parking Mode

Dash cam parking mode is a very useful feature that the majority of our cameras have the potential to use if they’ve been hardwired. When dash cams are in parking mode the camera continues to record footage even though the ignition has been switched off. In most cases, it will only commit this footage to memory if it has detected movement or an impact.

It is a common misconception that cameras will remain on and be recording for an entire night. In a real world situation, the parking mode will likely stay on and able to capture footage for 1-4 hours. That said, this varies from vehicle to vehicle depending on the age of the battery and how often the vehicle is driven. For users that drive many miles each day, they may well find the cameras remains on for far longer than 4 hours.

As a general rule of thumb, we always tell customers that parking mode is ideal for recording footage for short periods of time, such as when you leave the car parked in public when popping into town.

How Do I Get Parking Mode?

You will need to purchase a camera with the parking mode feature, nearly all of the cameras on our website have this ability. It should be mentioned on the individual camera pages but if you have any concerns please contact us. BlackVue and Thinkware cameras are among the most popular we sell.

Power magic pro BlackVue cameras require the additional Power Magic Pro hardwire kit to use parking mode. When the camera and Power Magic Pro have been installed correctly and the ignition is turned off the camera will remain on. However, the Power Magic Pro will now begin to monitor the vehicles battery voltage, shutting down the camera if the vehicles voltage drops too low. The cut-off level is set by switches on the side of the Power Magic Pro, once configured this shouldn’t need to be adjusted. We recommend setting the device to 12v cut-off. You can purchase the power magic pro here

Thinkware cameras do not need any accessories as the camera has the equivalent to the Power Magic Pro device built into it. It also offers slightly more flexibility as you can adjust the voltage cut-off settings directly through the Thinkware Dash Cam App. Again 12v would be the minimum cut-off we would recommend.

How to Extend parking Mode Recording Times

It is possible to install an additional battery pack in your vehicle that can power your dash camera for an additional 6-12 hours. The battery pack is charged when the vehicle is being driven, taking approximately 1-2 hours to become fully charged.

These range in cost from £169.99 to £229.99 if you would like more information please contact us using the link below.

Get a quote for your camera system and battery pack today

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Mercedes Vito Dash Cam Installation- Smart Witness SVC400GPS

Monitor

At Dash Witness, we pride ourselves in providing not only high quality products, but also a professional and well managed installation service. We are well experienced in completing front & rear camera installations such as this Jaguar XF fitting . However, we also cherish the opportunity to get involved in more complicated multi-camera systems.

When the owner of a Mercedes Vito approached us enquiring about a multi-channel system consisting of four cameras: a front, rear and two side cameras, we were only too happy to help. After listening to the customer’s requirements and taking into account their budget, it was agreed that the Smart Witness SVC400GPS recording unit would be most suitable.

Some of the Smart Witness SVC400GPS features include:IMG_2189 2

  • Automatic recordings
  • Delayed shutdown (continues recording for a couple of hours when parked)
  • Panic button (save clips to protected memory)
  • Very small recording unit

(Contact us if you’re interested in your own multi-channel camera system)

Once the equipment has been specified and agreed on, we plan the dash cam fitting. Sometimes this will involve a site visit ahead of the main installation date to check for power feeds and mounting positions. However, on most occasions, we’re able to draw upon past experience and arrive on site equipped with any additional, or specific, vehicle parts.

Fitting The Four-Camera SVC400GPS Vehicle Camera System

The power feeds are taken directly from the fuse board to the digital video recorder (DVR), the DVR then powers the cameras which allows them to have their own circuit and run on the  power that is provided by the DVR. This ensures that there is no interference from the cameras with any other devices, and also makes removal easy if needed. On the other hand, the power supply of the monitor comes from the ignition. The monitor allows you to view the rear camera when the vehicle is put into reverse, or the side cameras when the indicators are engaged.

Installation ImageThe next part of the installation is often the trickiest – feeding the cables through the vehicle. As we do not like visible cables, we  strive to completely remove all cables from sight.

The final step of the installation is the testing phase, this is where the engineer that is on site thoroughly tests the system and uses our camera commission checklist to ensure that the system works perfectly, with no bugs or glitches.

We strive to provide outstanding customer service from the moment you first make contact with us. If you have any queries, please contact us by phoning 01865 598599, or by using our contact form . However, if you already know what camera you want to buy, please visit our shop.

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ITV’s Car Crash Britain Returns Feb 2016

Dash Witness Car Crash Britain Cover

Car Crash Britain returns to our screens on ITV at 9pm this evening. It provides an intriguing, yet at times terrifying look at what is for most of us a daily event… driving on British roads.

The footage shown has been captured from dash cameras mounted in a range of vehicles. The cameras are usually mounted at the top centre of the windscreen and in most cars they hide from view by sitting behind the rear view mirror.

RollsRoyce-DashCamDash Cameras are not all born equal. There are now many low cost solutions but there are also high quality dash cameras with a host of impressive features. Least of these is the parking mode which will keep the camera rolling even with the ignition off. Smartphone apps allow you to review, download footage and adjust settings with ease. With the latest technology you can even view your cameras remotely.

We concentrate on providing only high end cameras that can be professionally installed, we don’t like cables and you certainly won’t see any once we’ve finished installing your dash cam.

For some friendly advice feel free to give us a call on 01865 598599, we can discuss your requirement and the options available. We also have a web chat facility, see the bottom right of the screen.

See our selection of dash cameras here

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Mi-Witness HD V2 WiFi & App Demonstration

Image: Mi-Witness HD V2 App & WiFi

The video below provides a demonstration of the Mi-Witness HD App, it will take you through the process of connecting to the dash camera with your smartphone, downloading footage and adjusting the camera settings.

The Mi-Witness HD V2 has many more features see details here

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Interested in purchasing your own dash camera? See our selection of dash cameras

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BlackVue DR6XX Series Parking Mode Demo

Image: BlackVue Parking Mode Demo

We’re often asked how the parking mode works on the BlackVue DR6XX series of dash cameras, usually in regard to the motion and impact detection. In the video below you can see a quick demonstration of each, we also go over the adjustments that can be made within the cameras settings.

BlackVue cameras have many other features, to learn more you can visit the individual camera pages below:
BlackVue DR650-1CH (this has now replaced the BlackVue DR600GW-HD)
BlackVue DR650-2CH

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Interested in purchasing your own dash camera? See our selection of dash cameras

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Dash Cams For Driving Instructors

Driving Instructor Dash Cams

Driving instructors contact us on a daily basis for advice in choosing and installing a dash camera. In this article we will share our opinion and experience in helping you decide which camera is right for you.

Firstly, one of the most common questions we get asked is- Can I keep the camera in the car on test day? In short the answer is yes. The DVSA published new guidance in September 2014, they say:

Cameras fitted for insurance purposes will be allowed providing they:

  • are external facing and do not film the inside of the vehicle
  • do not record audio from inside the vehicle

Read the DVSA’s full article on dash camera guidance

BlackVue Vs Thinkware

With that out of the way we can now explain why we we think that the ideal dash camera for a driving instructors is either the very popular BlackVue DR650GW-2CH or the slightly newer Thinkware F750-2CH. The table below shows the spec and features for comparison.

BlackVue Thinkware Comparison Table

Side by Side Size Comparison

Dash Cam Size BlackVue Vs Thinkware

BlackVue DR650GW-2CH Dash Camera

Instructors In-Car Dash Cam The BlackVue DR650GW-2Ch has been our most popular camera among driving instructors because it offers:

  • Great recording quality on both the front & rear cameras (front 1080p, rear 720p)
  • Audio recording can easily be switched off
  • Footage can be quickly reviewed by using the iOS, Android or Windows app
  • It is relatively discreet
  • All sounds can be switched off for silent operation
  • Low maintenance, the SD card can be formatted by holding down a button on the camera for 12 seconds

If the dash camera is hardwired using the power magic pro you will also benefit from the parking mode feature. This means that the dash camera will continue to record and protect your vehicle when the ignition is off. Potential very useful if something occurs whilst you’re pulled over in conversation with a pupil. Also great for catching supermarket bumps!

The other great thing about the BlackVue is the shape and size. As you well know there are numerous mirrors and speed displays fighting for windscreen space. These pictures highlight how well this camera can slot into life in a driving instructors car without causing additional obstruction or distraction to the pupil.

We can offer this front & rear dash camera fully installed with a 64GB SD card and power magic pro for £484.96.

If you would rather install yourself we can provide the same package for £350.00 we will also include piggy back adapters and fuses if you would like to install from the fuse board.

Click here to see the BlackVue DR650’s full details or place your order

Thinkware F750-2CH Dash Camera

The second option is the Thinkware F750-2CH dash camera, released this year it offers some serious competition to the BlackVue DR650.

**Note – At the time of writing the Thinkware F750-2CH does have a number of issues when using the iPad app to playback and download footage. The iPhone app however has been much improved and although we are still testing it now appears to be very stable. Thinkware are aware of the iPad issue and will hopefully correct this problem with a future app update. **

As seen in the pictures it’s a different shape to the BlackVue DR650. It is short and stumpy and mounts directly to the windscreen. It also has features that make it ideal for a DI:

Fitted Thinkware F750 Dash Cam

  • Fantastic footage, front & rear cameras record in full 1080p HD
  • Easy to switch of the audio recording
  • Footage can be reviewed on iOS and Android devices.
  • Can also operate silently
  • Is relatively discreet
  • Low maintenance, the F750 also has a button which can be pressed for a few seconds to format the SD card.

The Thinkware F750-2CH has the parking mode features built into the camera, this means that as long as the camera is connected with the Thinkware hardwire kit you will benefit from additional protection when the ignition is off.

The Thinkware F750 also has a few other interesting features, it has built-in speed camera alerts and will play an audio message if you approach a speed camera. It also has lane departure and front collision warning systems that will trigger if you stray lanes or get to close to the vehicle in front. In our experience these haven’t been features used by DI’s and they can be disabled but it is worth knowing.

The other fantastic thing about the Thinkware F750-2CH is the price, for an advanced full HD front & rear dash camera system it is one of the most competitively priced cameras on the market.

We can offer the Thinkware F750-2CH professionally installed with the hardwire kit and a 64GB SD card for £414.97.

Alternatively if you are happy to install yourself we can supply the F750-2CH with the hardwire kit & 64GB SD card for £279.98 we will also include piggy back adapters and fuses if you would like to fit directly from the fuse board.

Click here to see the Thinkware F750’s full details or place your order

If you have any other questions feel free to give us a call, use the online chat (normally available in the bottom right of the screen) or fill in the form below and we’ll respond ASAP.

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Police Caught On Dash Cam

Image: Dash Witness- Police Caught On Cam

This footage was captured by a customer on the A413, just outside of Buckingham. It shows a police speed van pulling out in front of approaching traffic, swerving across the opposite side of the road, then accelerating away exceeding the 30Mph limit.

It didn’t even have it’s blues and twos on!

To top it off, it appears to be a mobile speed camera van, oh the irony…

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This footage was captured on a Mi-Witness dash camera and the viewing software shown is akin to what you can expect with any of our dash cameras. Most will show the GPS location, map, speed and g-shock data.

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Crazy Driver Doesn’t Want To Stop

Image: Crazy Driver Blog Cover

This unbelievable footage was captured on the A14 towards Rothwell back in November. It shows a white Rover 25 undertake a lorry (which has been fitted with a dash cam) and then cut dangerously back into the fast lane to find the traffic ahead blocking the route.

Watch what unfolds as the crazy driver attempts to avoid the motorist in front.

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Why Fleets Should Fit Dash Cams

Image: Dash Cam Protected Fleets

Image: Dash Cam Protected VehicleVehicle cameras, or dash cams as they have become known, offer commercial fleet operators numerous benefits. Below we have created a thorough guide showcasing these points.

Dash Witness has been developed to offer guidance and advice in selecting the correct dash camera solutions and have a streamlined process to deliver these solutions to individuals or large fleets consisting of hundreds of vehicles.

First, lets cover the benefits of fitting dash cameras:

Solid Evidence In The Event Of Collision

If one of your fleet vehicles is involved in a traffic collision it can become a costly and lengthy process.  The insurance companies usually have to deal with protracted differing witness statements and it is often the case that it is one word against another. These statements can often be inaccurate as the shock of being involved in a collision can lead to discrepancies in the recollection of events.

A dash camera doesn’t blink, lie or forget so you can rest assured that the footage is going to provide solid evidence to end any dispute. The speed in which a claim can be processed is greatly improved, this plays an important role in keeping costs and stress to a minimum.

Crash For Cash Scams

Unfortunately it is a reality that can’t be ignored, “crash for cash” or fraudulent collisions are more common than ever. The IFB (Insurance Fraud Bureau) reported that- “Each day insurers uncover 381 fraudulent insurance claims worth more than £2.7 million. That’s 2,670 fraudulent claims a week costing honest customers £1 billion a year. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. We estimate that there is a further £2 billion of undetected fraud”, see full report.

That is a huge figure and for those who have a number of vehicles on the road, the odds aren’t good! The good news is that most of these scams are easy to spot. The innocent driver may not realise at the time of the event, but video footage allows review and analysis which can quickly show the true intent of the fraudulent party.

This video provides an interesting insight into how a “crash for cash” scam may be executed and a general overview of the increasing rise in motoring scams within the UK.

Protection When Parked

It is not uncommon to see someone in a multi-storey car park reverse into a vehicle and drive off. In the majority of cases the damage is minor but it may still result in an insurance claim, this is a headache for fleet operators and can cause additional worries if your fleet consists of leased vehicles.

A single facing dash cam may not always necessarily capture the actually impact but there is a good chance it will capture the driver and/or vehicle registration. The odds are improved with a front and rear camera installation.

Unfortunately fleet vehicles are not always treated with the same respect and care as a personally owned vehicle. Fleet operators can often find themselves having to deal with broken lights, dents, scratches and sometimes worse. When confronted the drivers response can be one of bewilderment, “Gosh, I hadn’t noticed that!”

Accidents do happen but repeat offenders can soon become a costly burden, video footage will provide you with the evidence needed to hold the guilty party to account.

Valuable Goods Stolen In Transit

Most fleets carry valuable goods, whether this be tools, mechanical equipment, chemicals or electronics, these can provide an ideal target for criminals. The majority of which seem to be opportunistic crimes whereby the driver has left the vehicle unlocked whilst he or she may be unloading. Or simply being too complacent at a familiar site, if they’ve made the trip a hundred times, without having experienced incidents the odds of a theft may seem slim.

Image: Van theftAs a fleet operator you can set stringent rules explicitly warning the driver to the lock the vehicle whenever it is left alone, but people get lazy- rules are broken!

Even more regrettably not everyone you employ will be an honest and trustworthy member of society. They may well decide to leave the door unlocked whilst they grab a bite to eat, allowing a well timed passer by to empty the contents of the vehicle.

Either way, a strategically placed camera(s) can give you piece of mind and when needed, the evidence to see what has really occurred. Moreover, simply having camera equipment fitted will act as a powerful deterrent to most.

We Had To Mention It – Insurance

Insurance is a costly expense for any driver but can be a complete nightmare for fleet operators. Dash cams have gradually forced their way into the consciousness of the insurers, who now sing the praises of the benefits afforded by a dash cam.

For the insurer and fleet operator, video footage means a quicker claims process. This ultimately means less money is spent processing a claim, good news for everyone! Insurance companies have seen these benefits and are now actively rewarding those who are proactive in installing dash cams, this is especially true for fleets who frequently file claims and may be considered a high risk.

Monitor Your Drivers Behaviour

Image: Representing Your BrandA final point, which we have touched on previously, is the ability to be able to hold your employees to account. At the end of the day, they are an extension of your brand and business. Recklessness, road rage, and general misbehaviour are not the way in which most employers would choose to promote their business.

A lot of dash cameras have the ability to record video, audio, speed, g-force and the route taken. This can prove a valuable tool for employers who need to check up on the behaviour of an employee. If required, certain dash cameras can be fitted with a tamper proof case.

How Can Dash Witness Help Your Fleet?

Dash Witness can offer valuable advice and recommendations to guide you in choosing the correct dash cameras for your fleets requirements. There are plenty of dash cams available, with various features and varying levels of quality. Dash Witness, will take the time to learn about your specific requirements and application.

Once the correct dash camera has been chosen we are able to book your vehicle(s) in with our nationwide mobile installers. They can be booked to install at a location and time convenient for your business.

For large fleets, we are able to create a bespoke online booking portal. This allows fleet operators access to our installation diary, they are then able to book the installation dates themselves for complete flexibility, saving time in the process.

Dash Witness will continue to support you after the installation and can provide footage retrieval services if required. These can be tailored to suit your business model and may include remote support or on-site services.

Please get in touch using our fleet enquiry form or by calling us on 01865 58252

Image: Fleet Dash Cameras