Mandatory dashcams make more sense

07 Jan 2024 12:00pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo source: Free stock images
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo source: Free stock images

IN December, the nation was shocked by two tragic cases involving the death of an autistic child who was murdered and a school student who died after the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a car driven by a senior police officer.

In the investigations into both cases, the police have appealed to witnesses with a dashboard camera (dashcam) or closed-circuit television (CCTV) recordings at the incident locations to come forward and assist in the investigations.

In the incident where a student was hit by a senior police officer in Ipoh, Perak, an individual even offered a reward of RM5,000 to anyone with a dashcam footage of the incident.

Dashcams have become essential as they can serve as witnesses or evidence in the event of an unfortunate incident involving one's own vehicle or others.

With the increasing number of accidents occurring today caused by the irresponsible behavior of some drivers, dashcams should be a mandatory device in all types of vehicles.

Video evidence enables authorities to take legal action against traffic offenders, such as the case of four motorcyclists recently charged in the Temerloh Sessions Court for riding recklessly and dangerously on the East Coast Expressway 1 (LPT1).

This followed the viral social media clip showing their 'Superman' stunt that ended in an accident on Dec 24.

The use of dashcams in vehicles is also crucial for recording any type of criminal activity, such as road bullying, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, physical assaults, and more.

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In a recent incident in Klang, Selangor, a dashboard camera captured the incident of a real estate agent being robbed by two armed criminals with a machete and a baseball bat while in his car on a busy road.

Almost every day, we are presented with video clips from dashcams depicting criminal incidents and traffic violations that lead to accidents.

Therefore, the government should reconsider the mandatory use of dashcams in all types of vehicles in the country as a safety measure.

Previously, Transport Minister Anthony Loke himself acknowledged that the installation of dashcams could record and serve as evidence for traffic offences committed by road users.

However, his stance was to encourage the installation of such devices in every vehicle without making it mandatory.

With the increasing number of vehicles on the roads, this proposal should be re-evaluated as the use of dashcams can remind the public of traffic laws and encourage more responsible driving behavior.

The use of dashcams can also help prevent criminal activities in our surroundings.

People will think twice before committing a crime, fearing that their actions will be recorded.

When all vehicles have dashcams, it is like having CCTV monitoring the movements not only of road users but also of people or events around them.

To start, citizens may need to incur a small cost for installing these devices in their vehicles.

Still, it is not wrong for us to take such an initiative for the sake of safety.

Moreover, nowadays, many of these devices are reasonably priced, depending on the dashcam specifications.

To alleviate the burden on citizens, the government could consider providing subsidies similar to those given for the purchase of child safety seats earlier.

Siti Hazira Hamdan is the Content Editor at Sinar.