Make dashcams mandatory in all vehicles in Australia

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Currently in Australia we have rising levels of road violence, including tailgating, close passing and speeding. The rising toll of injuries and deaths falls disproportionately upon vulnerable road users, particularly the elderly and the very young, and is caused disproportionately by aggressive, inexperienced or distracted drivers.

After a fatal accident that results in the death of another road user, the police currently rely almost totally upon the driver’s statement, resulting in a form of “survivor’s bias” where it is presumed that the victim is responsible for his or her own death. This is why we often see vain calls from police for witnesses after an accident. This means that aggressive and reckless drivers can, and often do, get away with murder or manslaughter.

The Hawthorne effect is when individuals modify an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed, and anyone who has watched other motorists slow down when passing a police car knows that this works.

We propose that new legislation is introduced across all Australian states that would:

  • obligate car manufacturers to include at least one high quality date/time stamped recording camera in every new car sold in Australia (preferably one front and one rear),
  • introduce presumed liability legislation so that a motorist who cannot produce date/time stamped film from his/her dashcam is presumed criminally liable in the event of a collision, complaint or other road incident, unless solid evidence exists to the contrary.

Such legislation is being trialed in other countries and we desperately need to adopt a similar approach to protect everyone on the road from irresponsible and aggressive driving. Please sign our petition and let’s make a safer and better environment for all Australians.

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