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Compulsory dashboard cameras supported by a quarter of motorists

Published in Motors at 11:59, Thursday November 27th, 2014. Last updated at 12:07, Wednesday December 17th, 2014

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More than a quarter of motorists believe that in-car dashboard cameras should be made compulsory.

According to research carried out by the RAC, 71% of drivers believe introducing in-car accident cameras would help to cut bogus car insurance claims from staged car crashes – known in the industry as a ‘crash-for-cash’ scam.

Nearly two-fifths (39%) said they were considering fitting an in-car camera.

Motoring retailer Halfords recently reported a boom in sales of the devices.

The company’s automotive category director Dave Poulter said: “The peace of mind that dashcams offer all drivers has already driven a 320% surge in sales across the business.

“With new products coming in that cost less than £50 and the backing of a major insurer offering significant savings, these helpful gadgets have just become even more desirable to motorists.

“We have experienced 500% year on year growth in dashcam sales online – making in-car cameras one of the most frequently searched for product categories on our website.”

Latest figures suggest that 4% of drivers already have an in-car camera, and the majority (59%) said the main reason they bought one is to have a record of what happens in case of an accident.

A fifth (21%) specifically cited protection against ‘crash-for-cash’ as the reason they had a camera.

The Association of British Insurers estimates bogus claims rose by 34% last year to 59,900 cases and has also dubbed the UK the ‘whiplash capital of the world’, with the £2 billion in claims adding £90 a year on to the average motorist’s premium.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: “Accident cameras or in-car cameras are commonplace in some countries where unscrupulous driving practices are a more regular occurrence.

“With ‘crash-for-cash’ crimes unfortunately becoming more prevalent on UK roads, motorists are looking to in-car cameras to protect themselves from being taken advantage of.”

Williams added: “As long as they are used correctly, dashboard cameras are a valuable record of the circumstances that occurred around an accident and as such can help to reduce the cost of personal injury claims which, in turn, should ultimately reduce the cost of insurance.

“Making in-car cameras compulsory would come at a cost initially, but they could pay for themselves in the long run if they cut the nation’s premiums.”

Halfords has recently partnered with insurers SwiftCover.com offering a 12.5% discount on insurance premiums when motorists buy a Nextbase camera.

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