‘Big Brother’ is sitting next to you in the car, so careful how you drive.

This is certainly the way you should be thinking according to evidence gathered by the RAC.

Using a Freedom of Information request, the RAC studied data from police forces across the country. Eighty nine dashcam recordings are sent to the police every day.

Rising numbers

A total of 32,370 pieces of footage were received by the police and double the number received in 2018 (15,195). A. quarter of these misdemeanours recorded by members of the public went on to result in prosecutions.

Tech trapping

Better technology and the creation of new data gathering facilities have made the process of sending in evidence much simpler. All of Britain’s 44 forces now accept dashcam video, the vast majority online via their websites.

The creation of the National Dash Cam Safety Portal was a game changer. It allows motorists to quickly and securely upload footage of dangerous driving in various formats. The relevant police authority can then review the footage.

The Met Police received the greatest number of potentially prosecutable offences in 2019 – 8,082.

Surrey had the second highest tally with 3,542, followed by West Midlands – 3,242 in third spot and Gwent – 3,037 – in fourth.

The new enforcers

“The advent of dashcams, phones with cameras and helmet cameras have been a game changer” says RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams. “As so many drivers and cyclists are now using dashcams and helmet cameras every road user needs to be very conscious that any of their actions that aren’t in accordance with the law could end up with the police.”

Footage submitted included dangerous driving, careless driving/driving without due care and attention, driving too close to cyclists, contravening red traffic lights, contravening double white lines, contravening ‘no entry’ signs and illegal use of a handheld mobile phone.

Williams continues: “With more and more people getting dashcams the message for 2021 has to be: always drive as if you’re being watched by the police.”