Keele University and Lincolnshire Police working to improve road safety using dash cam footage
Keele University researchers are working alongside Lincolnshire Police to explore how ‘dash cam’ technology can be used to reduce road offending and improve road safety.
The project has been funded by a £150,000 grant from The Road Safety Trust, which awarded over £1million of funding for technology-focussed road safety projects through its main theme grants in 2021.
The project aims to explore the opportunities, and potential challenges, posed by the increasing use of ‘dash cam’ technologies by the road-using public. Approximately 6,000 pieces of digital footage are being sent into police forces in England and Wales every month, suggesting a growing public appetite for this approach as a way of making roads safer.
The research will explore this new development from the perspective of the police and of the public, engaging with forces across the UK, as well as a variety of road users (including those who have submitted footage to the police and those who have been dealt with as a result of having featured in dash cam footage). The project aims to provide guidance as to how this new development can best contribute to road safety and provide guidance on the consistent handling of it.
Dr Helen Wells, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Keele University, said: “Growth in the use of ‘dash cams’ and similar technologies by the public shows that road users take road safety seriously and that they want the police to be involved in that. This important project will help us to understand more about the implications of road users policing each other in this way.”
Andy Cox, Detective Chief Superintendent, Head of Crime at Lincolnshire Police said: “In the UK, five people on average die in a road crash every single day. Road death is preventable and therefore we do not have to accept this devastation. The police cannot solve this alone and must work collaboratively with partners to reduce road danger. Additionally, we need the public’s support and this project seeks to evaluate the impact of enabling the public to report road crime via dash cam, Headcam or a similar method.
“The police cannot be everywhere all of the time but the public can be and therefore I am confident this crucial work will identify the many benefits and further improve our approach in this area. I am excited to work with and support Keele University in undertaking the project and hugely grateful to The Road Safety Trust for its funding which has made this possible. In time, I believe the results will help understanding in this vital area and, as such, be an important component in eradicating road danger and making our roads safe.”
Sally Lines, Chief Executive of The Road Safety Trust added: “We really welcome the project partnership from Lincolnshire Police and Keele University, as it has a clear link to how technology can be used to improve road safety and in turn help us work towards our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.”