A new scheme will see 170 state-of-the-art dashcams handed out completely free to businesses and organisations in Devon and Cornwall to aid enforcement and help make our roads safer.
Organisations including South West Water, Live West and the RNLI have already signed up to the scheme, which 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.
Footage captured on the dashcams will be used to assist Devon and Cornwall Police’s Operation Snap, a scheme which allows members of the public to upload video footage of road traffic collisions as well as illegal or dangerous driving.
Since the start of Op Snap in Devon and Cornwall in 2019, more than 1,300 dangerous drivers have been prosecuted – and the number of submissions to Op Snap has increased dramatically recently.
In the first six months of 2021, Devon and Cornwall Police received 779 submissions through Op Snap – of which 408 cases saw notices of intended prosecutions issued and 144 cases resulted in an official police warning.
Examples of these submissions can be seen in the video below which highlights dangerous overtaking, close passes near cyclists, undertaking on the M5 and even one car overtaking on a grass verge.
The idea of the dashcam project is to ensure there are more eyes on the road to enforce the message that dangerous or illegal driving will not be tolerated on Devon and Cornwall’s roads.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is also the National Road Safety Lead for the APCC and chairman of the Vision Zero South West board.
Commissioner Hernandez 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.
“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.”
Mark Cartwright, Head of Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention at National Highways, said: “I am extremely pleased to be working with Devon & Cornwall Police and Vision Zero South West on this initiative which aims to improve safety for all by shining a light on poor driver behaviour, such as close following, undertaking, dangerous driving in the South West.
“This initiative also aims to raise awareness of Operation Snap and encourage motorists to consider their driving behaviour.
“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.”
Pez Hargreaves is the South West Regional Safety Manager for the RNLI, who will be taking part in the project.
He said: “With facilities including lifeboat stations, lifeguard units and support bases located across the south west and many of our volunteers and staff travelling around the region as part of their core duties, the RNLI will be able to contribute significantly to this initiative.
The charity put a focus on ensuring our volunteer crew and our lifeguards are safe while saving lives at sea, and this scheme will contribute to the safety of our teams using the road networks, as well as for people who live in and visit the region.”
Guy Busby, Head of Property, Facilities and Transport at South West Water, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project and to play our part in improving road safety in Devon and Cornwall.
“South West Water’s fleet operates throughout the region and we are committed to reducing the risks our employees face when driving for work. We fully support this worthy initiative to improve road safety within the South West for the benefit of all road users.”
Op Snap figures
The op Snap Team has issued 1,376 Notice of Intended prosecution to registered keepers for Road Traffic Offences since it began in July 2019.
In the last 6 months, 573 Notice of Intended prosecutions were issued which equates to 95 cases per month.
In August 2021:
- 179 cases of bad driving were submitted to Op Snap
- 121 notice of intended prosecution was sent to the registered keeper regarding a Road Traffic Act offence
- 45% of cases where a notice of intended prosecution was sent were submitted by cyclists
- In addition, 27 warning letters were sent to drivers for cases submitted by cyclists