2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 05:39
Do dashcams make sense? Yes, some think. No, the others. The traffic court day in Goslar will deal from Thursday with the controversial cameras, which bring data protection problems with them.
Dashcams have long been widespread in several countries such as Russia or China. When Russian drivers accidentally recorded a falling meteorite with their permanently filming mini cameras in 2013, the images went around the world. In this country, too, more and more drivers are running a dashboard camera.
The ADAC believes that the reason is probably the concern that they would otherwise not have any evidence after an accident. But whether the recordings are even admissible in court is not regulated. The 54th Verkehrsgerichtstag (VGT), which will officially open this Thursday in Goslar, will therefore deal with the issue.
Higher chance of success
"A dashcam generally increases the chances of success of objectified, factual evidence," says Sven-Erik Wecker from the German Police Union (DPolG). "The cameras can also be used to provide evidence of traffic crimes such as coercion and endangerment, for which only the fragile evidence of the statements and memories of the traffic victims is available so far."
For the General Association of German Insurers (GDV) the advantages of the devices are obvious. "In many accidents it is quicker and easier to find out who is to blame," says GDV expert Uwe Cremerius. The problem: There is currently no binding data protection framework for the use of the dashcam recordings. Anyone who constantly films people and license plates while driving is violating data protection.
Lawyers' association skeptical
For this reason, the German Lawyers Association (DAV) is skeptical of dashcams in the car. “The devices can record the course of accidents. In this way, they offer the opportunity to better prove contentious issues in road traffic,”says Andreas Krämer from the DAV Working Group on Traffic Law. Through the permanent use of dashcams, however, harmless citizens would also be permanently filmed without their knowledge and consent, which violates personal rights.
So far, courts have held very different views on the usability of dashcam recordings in the process. While the Heilbronn District Court has prohibited permanent recording, the Nienburg District Court at least allowed “event-related” recordings. “That is completely out of place,” says Constantin Hack from the ACE automobile club. "In dangerous situations you have to do other things than look for the shutter release on a camera."
Just like insurers and lawyers, the automobile clubs are therefore calling on the legislature to ensure clarity. On the one hand, the right to informational self-determination of the recorded persons must be protected, says ADAC lawyer Markus Schäpe. On the other hand, those involved in the accident should have the opportunity to have recordings used in court.
As a solution, the ACE suggests the use of electronically "sealed" dashcams. Encryption can prevent misuse and ensure that only investigators can evaluate the material. "This would also put a stop to gaffer videos on the Internet," says Hacker.
So that accidents can be resolved safely, the police union (GdP) advocates a more far-reaching measure regardless of any kind of dashcam recordings. «Vehicles are rolling computers. You can read a lot from the storage devices,”says GdP spokesman Jan Velleman. "That is why we are calling for the mandatory introduction of the accident data memory." (dpa)
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