Dashcams given away for free as part of dangerous driver crackdown

  • Watch dangerous drivers caught on dashcams (Credit: Vision Zero South West Partnership)

Dozens of dashcams are being given away for free to help catch dangerous drivers across Devon and Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall Police’s new dashcam project involves giving 170 devices to motorists as part of Operation Snap.

The operation has seen more than 1,300 drivers prosecuted in two years and Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly, believes the initiative will improve road safety.

She said: "This is a fantastic project that I hope will have a significant impact on road safety in Devon and Cornwall.

"We have specifically chosen the organisations involved to receive these cameras as they operate vehicles which regularly travel on some of the most problematic roads across the South West.

"This gives us 170 extra pairs of eyes on our roads to capture dangerous drivers and take action against them through Devon and Cornwall Police’s Op Snap initiative.

A driver has a near-miss with an oncoming vehicle in Newquay after attempting a dangerous overtake. Credit: Vision Zero South West Partnership

"With more people watching, the chances of bad drivers getting caught will increase. I hope this makes motorists more alert and, in turn, will make our roads safer for everyone.

In the first six months of 2021, Devon and Cornwall Police received 779 submissions through Operation Snap.

Over half of cases (408) saw notices of intended prosecutions issued and 144 cases resulted in an official police warning.

The submissions include clips of dangerous overtaking, close passes near cyclists, undertaking on the M5 and a vehicle overtaking on a grass verge.

Mark Cartwright, Head of Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention at National Highways, acknowledged the dashcams can expose "poor driver behaviour" and "dangerous driving" in the region.

He said: "This initiative also aims to raise awareness of Operation Snap and encourage motorists to consider their driving behaviour.

A driver picked up seven penalty points and a £204 fine for careless and inconsiderate driving after performing a risky overtake Credit: Vision Zero South West Partnership

"We are confident that, working together with our road safety partners, this initiative will help widen our safety messages to drivers and raise awareness that those who engage in high-risk behaviours can expect to be spotted and, if an offence has been committed, action will be taken by our enforcement partners."

Superintendent Adrian Leisk, of the roads policing team said: "These additional dash cams will increase the likelihood of dangerous, careless or inconsiderate drivers being identified across our 13,670 miles of road network, supporting our approach to reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured.

"Evidence shows driver education or penalties applied because of evidence submitted to Operation Snap helps to modify driver behaviour.

"These extra eyes and ears will make a significant contribution to holding poor drivers to account."

Organisations including South West Water, Live West and the RNLI have already signed up to receive dashcams.

The scheme has been jointly funded by National Highways and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – both of whom are members of the Vision Zero South West Partnership.