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Car Cameras and Black Boxes in Canberra?

By mcleodwealth 7 September 2012 24

My wife and experience the daily nerve racking experience of Canberra commuting.  It seems every second day at least we see another accident.  Seven deaths in Canberra roads this year, and I dread to think of how many serious injuries or even insurance nightmares and work interruptions people are suffering every day.  Fatalities are only the tip of the reported ice berg.  So we’ve had enough.

One day I accept that one of these idiots who cut people off, overtake on bends, routinely break the speed limit or beep at you for doing the speed limit, drive right on your tail as you have to slow down for a traffic jam – will hit us.  And when they do, I intend to nail them hard in court with no chance of weasling out of it.

So I’m looking for car camera and black boxes.  A quick search on Google throws up many options – it seems we are not alone and a whole industry is springing up around collecting evidence on dangerous drivers.

Does anyone have any advice on the technical or legal side?

If anything can we Youtube footage of these idiots and hopefully spur others to do the same, potentially leading to a preventive complaint before they kill or injure an innocent victim?  Could we start a Youtube channel and tag by number plate?

It would seem that even $400 is a small price to pay for conclusive evidence in the name of road safety.

And we don’t understand it, it’s not like Canberra is world famous for its long commute times and traffic jams and poor road conditions.  So what gives?  Why does it seem there are so many on the road with bad attitude?


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24 Responses to
Car Cameras and Black Boxes in Canberra?
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mcleodwealth 9:07 pm 07 Sep 12

screaming banshee said :

Picked up a in car camera for both cars from officeworks for about $90 each, suction cap to the windscreen, cigarette lighter input, records whenever the ignition is on (via cig lighter power) and constantly writes over oldest data on the SD card. HD video give us about 4hrs on a (16 or 32 gig, I cant remember) card. Reviewed a few recordings and the quality is pretty good, you get to record yourself yelling abuse also.

Not a bad option, I might check it out. This is all we need.

nothappyjan said :

If you already have an Android phone, windscreen holder, and car charger you can get a very good free app that will do as much, if not more, than many of the basic dedicated cameras on the market:

http://www.dailyroads.com/voyager.php

Good point too… I do have an old Android phone I was going to leave installed as a dedicated GPS anyway so I could look at this. Should do at least 720p. I’m keen on recording the rear though too.

Thanks, good suggestions.

So can video footage be submitted as evidence in a court?

mcleodwealth 8:56 pm 07 Sep 12

screaming banshee said :

Picked up a in car camera for both cars from officeworks for about $90 each, suction cap to the windscreen, cigarette lighter input, records whenever the ignition is on (via cig lighter power) and constantly writes over oldest data on the SD card. HD video give us about 4hrs on a (16 or 32 gig, I cant remember) card. Reviewed a few recordings and the quality is pretty good, you get to record yourself yelling abuse also.

Not a bad option, I might check it out. This is all we need.

nothappyjan said :

If you already have an Android phone, windscreen holder, and car charger you can get a very good free app that will do as much, if not more, than many of the basic dedicated cameras on the market:

http://www.dailyroads.com/voyager.php

Good point too… I do have an old Android phone I was going to leave installed as a dedicated GPS anyway so I could look at this. Should do at least 720p. I’m keen on recording the rear though too.

Thanks, good suggestions. The Android phone combined with a rear camera would make a fantastic cost effective solution, just need a way to automate it. I already run ‘Tasker’ on my phones so there may be a way through that. Plus I get a free GPS nav system.. Bonus…

So can video footage and a phone GPS log be submitted as evidence in a court? Why were the other sites taken down that posted footage of scumbag drivers?

nothappyjan 7:51 pm 07 Sep 12

Not sure if this was just a free advertisement for that Aussie reseller of the same cameras you can find on ebay for much less, but anyway…..

If you already have an Android phone, windscreen holder, and car charger you can get a very good free app that will do as much, if not more, than many of the basic dedicated cameras on the market:

http://www.dailyroads.com/voyager.php

FioBla 6:25 pm 07 Sep 12

Just wondering if a smartphone would be ideal for this, if you get a dashboard/windscreen mount for it.

The new ones have GPS, a camera, and a lot of in built space. You get a place to mount the phone out of the way. It does other things (e.g. play music, receive calls, GPS tracking or navigation). And then you take it with you when out of the car. You also use a single charger to charge the phone anyway.

Needs the right software, and a phone with a wide angle lens maybe.

milkman 6:08 pm 07 Sep 12

There are plenty of idiots on the road, and yet I rarely have a problem.

Learn to drive properly, be careful, and you’ll be fine.

ImagineThat 5:56 pm 07 Sep 12

I agree there are some very poor drivers out there, however everybody (yes, I mean everybody) makes mistakes and not everyone is out to get you. It’s going to get interesting when someone with one of these cameras installed is involved in an accident they are actually responsible for, and their camera footage becomes the evidence used to effectively convict themselves.

Eyeofthetiger 5:29 pm 07 Sep 12

You’d better wear your tin foil hat under your crash helmet next time, perhaps complimented with a bubble wrap suit.

screaming banshee 5:28 pm 07 Sep 12

Picked up a in car camera for both cars from officeworks for about $90 each, suction cap to the windscreen, cigarette lighter input, records whenever the ignition is on (via cig lighter power) and constantly writes over oldest data on the SD card. HD video give us about 4hrs on a (16 or 32 gig, I cant remember) card. Reviewed a few recordings and the quality is pretty good, you get to record yourself yelling abuse also.

mcleodwealth 4:56 pm 07 Sep 12

Innovation said :

Are you sure that this is correct? Wasn’t the Jim’s mowing guy charged for hitting that cyclist based on video footage? And I’m pretty sure that an insurance company would be very interested in video footage if they could try to use it (at least as supporting evidence) to recover costs against a third party (surely it would be as good as or better than photographic evidence taken at the scene).

This is all I had in mind. I’m sure it’s funny to some but I don’t find visiting a friend with now brain damaged and slightly crippled children funny. I wasn’t laughing when I visited him in hospital, or 10 years later when he is still fighting for compensation due to someone pulling out in front, leading to his car being wrapped around a stoby pole.

This year alone I’ve seen many accidents, someone driving in to oncoming traffic on Coulter Drive at night, wrecked cars and ambulances coming back from the snowy’s and mangled bikes on the side of the road.

There is only so much defensive driving can achieve, but yes it’s a good start, common courtesy also goes a long way.

Well it seems there are dedicated systems for up to $500, with cameras from $80.

Like this one http://www.AutoBlackBox.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=96

Seems like a good investment if it saves a great deal more in legal costs.

troll-sniffer 4:17 pm 07 Sep 12

The odd time I get off my pushie and abuse the environment in the lazy person’s machine, I find it quite a relaxing experience. Almost never strike any of the hoonie type behaviour you’re suggesting is the norm. Perhaps that’s because most of my driving is outside peak periods?

Anyway, bro, chill. Per km you’re actually very safe on Canberra’s roads. Adhering to speed limits and copping a tradie’s horn isn’t actually dangerous, and if you accept that tradies are little children dressed up as big people and ignore their tanties, you’ll find that once they’ve had their little tantie and moved on, you can relax.

niftydog 3:50 pm 07 Sep 12

Amen, Rollersk8r!

Reprobate 3:42 pm 07 Sep 12

…or for similar money, attend a defensive driving course. Skills like having the right attitude behind the wheel (“no, my taxes paid for this right hand lane and I’ll travel along it as slowly as I want”), looking out for trouble (hazard perception including a car zig-zagging in lanes behind you) and basically doing everything YOU can to avoid a crash (rather than having the ability to smugly say “I was in the right” in a hospital bed) are worth much more than a GoPro, an internet connection and a chip on your shoulder.

Innovation 3:27 pm 07 Sep 12

Felix the Cat said :

….. Cops aren’t interested in bad/dangerous/illegal driving unless they witness it in person so it would be a waste of time going to see them with the footage. ……..
Not even sure if insurance companies would use such videos as evidence in a claim.

Are you sure that this is correct? Wasn’t the Jim’s mowing guy charged for hitting that cyclist based on video footage? And I’m pretty sure that an insurance company would be very interested in video footage if they could try to use it (at least as supporting evidence) to recover costs against a third party (surely it would be as good as or better than photographic evidence taken at the scene).

carnardly 3:26 pm 07 Sep 12

The “Jim’s Mow them down” thread (search here if you’re not aware of it) resulted in a traffic infringement notice being issued to the driver.

Better than nothing, but still a pus weak outcome

Thumper 3:20 pm 07 Sep 12

johnboy said :

Of course if you get amusing/exciting video be sure to send us the link before giving it to any other bugger!

With added Yackety Sax music, of course…

Solidarity 3:17 pm 07 Sep 12

If you find that driving is nerve racking, then perhaps you’d be better suited to a bus.

gasman 3:10 pm 07 Sep 12

Cyclists are increasingly using helmet-mounted or handlebar mounted cameras such as the GoPro to provide evidence of bad driving should an incident occur. These cameras are waterproof, shockproof, use any size SD card for memory (4GB provides about 1 hour) and if no incident happens, simply wipe the card and start afresh.

I recently started a website called BikeSee.com for cyclists to post their video’s (via Youtube). Embryonic at this stage but fee free to post your videos.

    johnboy 3:14 pm 07 Sep 12

    Of course if you get amusing/exciting video be sure to send us the link before giving it to any other bugger!

LMR 2:53 pm 07 Sep 12

Im not quite sure what you are looking for but http://www.chinavasion.com might have what you are looking for at a good price.

Felix the Cat 2:49 pm 07 Sep 12

What do you hope to acheive with all this video footage? Cops aren’t interested in bad/dangerous/illegal driving unless they witness it in person so it would be a waste of time going to see them with the footage. Youtube already has a gazillion videos of bad/dangerous/illegal driving, your examples would have to pretty special to rate a mention anywhere and what outcome do you expect to get from it?

Not even sure if insurance companies would use such videos as evidence in a claim.

There was a website a while back called ratemyplate that was a forum of sorts where people posted descriptions of dodgy drivers along with vehicle and rego details (didn’t have images or videos). It was shut down, presumably because of privacy issues. There was no moderation so anyone could post up any report true or false about anybody else they happened to not to like.

Spiral 2:43 pm 07 Sep 12

Australia is actually quite a safe place to drive in and Canberra seems to generally be the safest state/territory.

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