Video cameras as evidence

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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby jules21 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:31 pm

find_bruce wrote:IDriving offences are committed by drivers, not vehicles. The registration number, unless a forgery, identifies the vehicle but not the driver. From what I have seen, many videos in the moron motorist threads do not give a clear shot of the driver & this will make ID problematic.

thanks for that bruce, an excellent overview. i'd be interested in further consideration of the point you made and i've quoted, though. vehicle registration does not identify the driver, as you said. however it does identify the registered operator of the vehicle. this is enough to prosecute the operator for many offences, including speed camera and tollway infringements. in such cases, the onus falls onto the registered operator to demonstrate that they were not the driver. this almost invariably means identifying the driver under sworn testimony/affidavit. do you know if there is a general provision around driving offences and vehicle registration which could be used for offences caught on camera, or are they restricted to automated enforcement, such as those i cited?
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby high_tea » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:08 pm

jules21 wrote:
find_bruce wrote:IDriving offences are committed by drivers, not vehicles. The registration number, unless a forgery, identifies the vehicle but not the driver. From what I have seen, many videos in the moron motorist threads do not give a clear shot of the driver & this will make ID problematic.

thanks for that bruce, an excellent overview. i'd be interested in further consideration of the point you made and i've quoted, though. vehicle registration does not identify the driver, as you said. however it does identify the registered operator of the vehicle. this is enough to prosecute the operator for many offences, including speed camera and tollway infringements. in such cases, the onus falls onto the registered operator to demonstrate that they were not the driver. this almost invariably means identifying the driver under sworn testimony/affidavit. do you know if there is a general provision around driving offences and vehicle registration which could be used for offences caught on camera, or are they restricted to automated enforcement, such as those i cited?

In Qld, there are deeming provisions relating to camera detected offences. The cameras for these offences have to be calibrated etc etc. This is in Part 7 Div 1 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Mangement Act) 1995 (Qld). No way would an offence detected with a bike-mounted camera operated by a regular citizen fall under this part.

Disclaimer: the situation varies in other states. What's more, not only are you wise to regard me as a fool or a liar, you should be aware that I have ranted, without apparent irony, about Magna Carta. Be warned!
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby DentedHead » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:23 am

high_tea wrote:In Qld, there are deeming provisions relating to camera detected offences. The cameras for these offences have to be calibrated etc etc. This is in Part 7 Div 1 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Mangement Act) 1995 (Qld). No way would an offence detected with a bike-mounted camera operated by a regular citizen fall under this part.


Surely this is because said traffic cameras are automated? I would seriously question the sanity/intelligence of a legal system that discounted manually operated cameras. Even dodgy CCTV footage gets used in court. How much of that is "calibrated"?

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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby high_tea » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:15 am

DentedHead wrote:
high_tea wrote:In Qld, there are deeming provisions relating to camera detected offences. The cameras for these offences have to be calibrated etc etc. This is in Part 7 Div 1 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Mangement Act) 1995 (Qld). No way would an offence detected with a bike-mounted camera operated by a regular citizen fall under this part.


Surely this is because said traffic cameras are automated? I would seriously question the sanity/intelligence of a legal system that discounted manually operated cameras. Even dodgy CCTV footage gets used in court. How much of that is "calibrated"?

Dent.


You just don't get any help identifying the actual offender i at case. There are certain criteria that have to be met before you go hanging an offence on someone based on a rego iun a photograph and nothing else. That's what Part 7 Div is about. I imagine this is so in other states too but I haven't checked. See above disclaimer...
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Are we sure it's that camera itself in need of calibration or the support equipment like radar or inductive loops, triggering mechanisms and associated software?
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby find_bruce » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:18 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Are we sure it's that camera itself in need of calibration or the support equipment like radar or inductive loops, triggering mechanisms and associated software?

As I understand it the answer is yes, all of those things, including the camera. In NSW at least a speed camera takes 2 photos at a precise time interval & there are marks on the road as a back up if the speed is challenged.

Still I managed to avoid a speed camera fine because the clock was 4 hours out, which made a mockery of the purported calibration.

As for Jules' question, I prob don't have much to add to High Teas comments, but will have a think about it when the wine induced haze has dissipated.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby high_tea » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:41 pm

My bad, all of Part 7 has something to say on the matter.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby GraemeL » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:57 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Are we sure it's that camera itself in need of calibration or the support equipment like radar or inductive loops, triggering mechanisms and associated software?


The calibration would be for any equipment that measures anything, red light trigger, speed camera sensors etc.
Just like the roadside speed camera must not only be properly calibrated but operated buy a qualified operator.

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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby find_bruce » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:25 pm

find_bruce wrote:IDriving offences are committed by drivers, not vehicles. The registration number, unless a forgery, identifies the vehicle but not the driver. From what I have seen, many videos in the moron motorist threads do not give a clear shot of the driver & this will make ID problematic.

jules21 wrote:thanks for that bruce, an excellent overview. i'd be interested in further consideration of the point you made and i've quoted, though. vehicle registration does not identify the driver, as you said. however it does identify the registered operator of the vehicle. this is enough to prosecute the operator for many offences, including speed camera and tollway infringements. in such cases, the onus falls onto the registered operator to demonstrate that they were not the driver. this almost invariably means identifying the driver under sworn testimony/affidavit. do you know if there is a general provision around driving offences and vehicle registration which could be used for offences caught on camera, or are they restricted to automated enforcement, such as those i cited?

Have done a quick look through various states & each take a different approach. Most appear to be similar to that quoted by high_tea based on the responsible person being deemed responsible for designated offences – ie speeding, red light cameras, detected by authorised devices. The authorisation of devices is linked to the devices being presumed to be accurate in what they are measuring or recording, so that a police officer does not have to attend court to attest to their accuracy. Just a couple of examples

NSW s 179 Road Transport (General) Act 2005 see also ss 47, 47A, 47B, 57, 57B, 57C & 69E Road Transport (Safety And Traffic Management) Act 1999

VIC ss 84BA – 84BI & 66 Road Safety Act 1986

WA takes quite a different approach in ss 102B-102D Road Traffic Act 1974 – no real surprise there, WA has always been a home of independent thinking. The primary differences are that it is not limited to designated offences nor authorised devices.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby James the Giant » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:15 pm

find_bruce wrote:
WA takes quite a different approach in ss 102B-102D Road Traffic Act 1974 – no real surprise there, WA has always been a home of independent thinking. The primary differences are that it is not limited to designated offences nor authorised devices.


Yes, that's right, in WA even your phone video camera is fine, and admissible in court. Sensible!
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby high_tea » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:18 am

James the Giant wrote:
find_bruce wrote:
WA takes quite a different approach in ss 102B-102D Road Traffic Act 1974 – no real surprise there, WA has always been a home of independent thinking. The primary differences are that it is not limited to designated offences nor authorised devices.


Yes, that's right, in WA even your phone video camera is fine, and admissible in court. Sensible!

This is so everywhere in Australia, as find_bruce pointed out earlier in this thread. The difference is in when a rego and nothing else is sufficient to hold someone responsible.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby diggler » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:52 am

2. To prosecute using my video as actual evidence would not be able to stand up in court, as the defence can pull it apart because the footage is not from a calibrated, secure and independent source - the whole chain of evidence thing. Apparently CCTV cameras in the city and valley have to be run by a non-police group to maintain it as independent evidence for use in court, and downloads etc all follow a strict process to ensure the chain of evidence is clean. Additionally, my video could have been modified. Note this is coming from the prosecutors, not from the officer.


Everything that cop said is a crock of s@#$. Calibration refers to instruments such as speed cameras. How is chain of possession an issue? You took the footage, nobody else used your camera, you downloaded the footage to your computer. Independent source? What the (AT)#$%^ is he talking about? The camera is objective as opposed to a witness statement which may be coloured by vested interests. Not that a witness statement by an interested party is inadmissible.

If there is an allegation that the video has been tampered with, the defence can call their own technical expert to support that contention.

The cop who said all this crap knows nothing and or just wants to fob you off so he can do less work.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:49 pm

According to an article in todays Feral Hun (we get it at work) footage from one police officers personal camera was used against another officer after a chase turned ugly.

Precedent?
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby TimW » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:54 pm

Mulger bill wrote:According to an article in todays Feral Hun (we get it at work) footage from one police officers personal camera was used against another officer after a chase turned ugly.

Precedent?

If they don't get em in the courts, the department has a second crack. The ol double whammy just like the Military. :roll:
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby gretaboy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:12 am

gretaboy wrote:Well this will be interesting. I just reported an incident to the police today regarding having a crumpled up can thrown at me. My Go Pro recorded the can leaving the car and it rolling onto the ground afterwards.

Reported it over the phone and stated that I had it on video. The constable gave me the impression that he took it seriously, had to go and get advice at one stage (maybe a probie) but said that he would put a job on. Am going to push for the following

1) assault (by can lol)
2) failure to indicate when changing lanes
3) dangerous driving
4) littering

Hopefully will have a car crew turn up tonite and when they do I will show them the video, still pics and so forth. I have doubts on the assault and it holding up but the other 3 I think will and should hold up.

Driver was a P plater as usual

http://youtu.be/ePFgiUoeBMc

##EDIT: In the scheme of things it is small, but this driver and his mates need to be taught a lesson I feel


An update on this: On Friday night I got a phone call from the Snr Const who I initially dealt with regarding this. She was Highway Patrol and a cyclist also. She informed me that she had spoken to the driver and that he has admitted to the can being thrown. The driver claims they werent aiming at me as such, which is crap but anyway, and it seems that the driver was very surprised at the fact that it was caught on camera.

She read him the riot act and he copped an infringement notice as well. I dont think he or his mates will do it again...hopefully. She also stated she knows where he lives and will be keeping an eye on him.

An issue that may have helped, the police officer was a cyclist, and in my initial talk with her she stated that a female friend of hers was also a cyclist and had been hit by an object from a car and got injured. The result of this is that this Police Officer took my issue seriously even though in the big scheme of things it was relatively minor.

I am happy with the outcome.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby jasonc » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:17 am

gretaboy wrote:I am happy with the outcome.


good stuff
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby herzog » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:50 am

Wow that's a very good result, and sounds like you got a very helpful copper.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby gretaboy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:58 am

herzog wrote:Wow that's a very good result, and sounds like you got a very helpful copper.



yeah was lucky I think
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby InTheWoods » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:06 pm

After sitting on my hands on this for a while, I shot off 2 letters last week and had my first response today.

First letter was to the Assistant Commissioner for my area, and I was phoned today with a response by an Inspector from that office, who did his time in traffic branch, and we spent quite a long time (30 minutes I think) discussing it. Soon I'll get done for wasting police time :shock: This letter was solely about Rule 146, although we did end up discussing all the related issues. I'll quote from my letter here.

An example situation (see image to the left):
1. I am cycling on a road that has 2 lanes going each way
2. I am in the middle of the left most lane travelling at 40kmh.
3. A car approaches from behind in the same lane as me at 60kmh
4. The car moves partially into the right hand lane while going past, straddling both left and right lanes (lane splitting) for quite some distance (60+ meters in order to overtake)
5. The car then moves back into the left hand lane


Applying Rule 146 to the situation:
So a driver must drive completely within a lane unless

(a) no – they are not moving from the shoulder to the road
(b) no – they are not entering or leaving the road
(c) no – they are not changing to another lane because they never move into it
(d) no – a bicycle is not an obstruction (from dictionary in the road rules: “obstruction includes a traffic hazard, but does not include a vehicle only because the vehicle is stopped in traffic or is travelling more slowly than other vehicles”)
(e) no – not applicable
(f) no – see above

As none of the exceptions are applicable, the driver must drive completely within a lane. There is no exception for passing a bicycle.


Note that the inspector had not viewed my videos so they were not really discussed in that context. In no particular order, things discussed included:
  • Police have discretion about giving infringements, the courts have discretion about upholding them if challenged
  • Giving an infringement for rule 146 for this kind of thing is a pretty technical & minor breach and i sense its just not going to happen
  • At first I think he was saying he had discretion to class a bicycle as an obstacle so there wouldn't be a breach of 146, but I argued that the definition of an obstacle in the rules didn't seem to allow discretion when its very specific about slower moving vehicles not being an obstacle
  • There would be a stronger case for some kind of infringement if something was thrown at me, or the car loses control, or was speeding at the time etc etc. But I then asked how would you prove the car was speeding, and he said if an officer had a speed trap there ... but thats kind of not going to happen very often at all is it...

I don't think I'm going to get any further with the 146 bit. Not that I really want to or care about it, it was just a way of providing a punishment to be remembered and show things are taken seriously, when a close pass cannot be "proved" by video evidence.

We went on to discuss videos and evidence. In summary...
  • Yes a video *could* be used as evidence, but it isn't done very often and may not be given a lot of weight
  • It would need to be very obvious, and I would need to provide original out of the camera video (not edited/cut)
  • It would be much better to have both front and back and maybe side cameras, as otherwise the defence could claim that the car got further away when it was beside me
  • Any claims about distances would be very difficult to hold up in court so really it would need to show something else, that made it worse. I would need to be a witness and the first questions the defense would be asking me would be what my qualifications are as an expert witness on distances, what training I have had, how far away is that seat over there and then measure it and so on.
  • To prosecute something, it has to be for the public good, and this includes considering the seriousness of the crime, the likelihood of success and the costs involved in taking it to court (if found not guilty apparently the police have to pay defense costs)

He called me back later on after speaking to the senior sergeant I have talked to at the local station, and said to still submit the videos. If the driver does admit to something, its all good, but other than that its very touch and go as to whether anything can be done, which is kind of the same situation as before.

Feeling kind of powerless/deflated at the moment, because I don't know what the next step is - don't even know what I want. I don't have a problem with the level of proof required in a criminal case being high, its better than the alternative police state we'd end up with. Should video evidence be somehow legislated to have more weight? Don't see how this could happen or even if its a good idea. Strict liability laws? I'm not sure I agree with them. There's so many idiot cyclists and pedestrians around it doesn't seem fair, and there's enough of the wrong kind of idiots here to take it as a license to do what they like. Much tougher driving tests, repeat tests when renewing license, make it much easier to lose your license and lose it for a long time (start with less points)? I kind of like that idea (the police probably do too).

I've been living in this fantasy world where I thought if a lot of road users had cameras, and dangerous behavior was called to account, that pretty soon everything would be great and even my knicks would smell like roses at the end of a ride and my chain would never need cleaning again...

The inspector was telling me a story about one of his cases where he had an audio recording of an incident where he heard motorbikes in the distance (out of sight) revving really hard from some lights, and had run for his speed camera, and then had the 2 motorbikes come flying into view around a corner. He got the speed camera onto one bike and you can hear the sound of the radar gun locking on - 172kmh. The other motorbike overtook this bike going even faster. He pulled them over (the 2nd bike not able to stop in time, stopped 300 meters down the road before being able to turn back). First guy got shown speed on gun and knew he was done. Second guy asked if he knew how fast he was going. Rider: "70kmh". "What is the speed limit here?" Rider: "70kmh". Officer: "No its 60kmh". So it goes to court, officer is a court accepted expert witness about speeds, an experienced traffic cop, he has the audio recording which he has used to calculate their average speed as 160kmh from the last set of lights. He has the bike overtaking the other one which was doing 172kmh. End result? A ticket for 172kmh and one for 70kmh :evil:

To rub salt into my wounds, in the last couple of days I've had nothing but great driving, even considerate drivers letting me in after a shoulder check ... and a "cyclist" doing 30kmh+ overtaking through a non existant gap between me and an oncoming pedestrian on a narrow path, 2 cyclists almost mowing me down after I stopped at a stop sign (dumb of me!), and another guy on the way home overtaking me while I was obviously overtaking another pedestrian, forcing me to brake to avoid a collision. Bloody (AT)!#(AT)%^#! cyclists :roll:
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby exadios » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:45 pm

InTheWoods wrote:After sitting on my hands on this for a while, I shot off 2 letters last week and had my first response today.

First letter was to the Assistant Commissioner for my area, and I was phoned today with a response by an Inspector from that office, who did his time in traffic branch, and we spent quite a long time (30 minutes I think) discussing it. Soon I'll get done for wasting police time :shock: This letter was solely about Rule 146, although we did end up discussing all the related issues. I'll quote from my letter here.

An example situation (see image to the left):
1. I am cycling on a road that has 2 lanes going each way
2. I am in the middle of the left most lane travelling at 40kmh.
3. A car approaches from behind in the same lane as me at 60kmh
4. The car moves partially into the right hand lane while going past, straddling both left and right lanes (lane splitting) for quite some distance (60+ meters in order to overtake)
5. The car then moves back into the left hand lane


Applying Rule 146 to the situation:
So a driver must drive completely within a lane unless

(a) no – they are not moving from the shoulder to the road
(b) no – they are not entering or leaving the road
(c) no – they are not changing to another lane because they never move into it
(d) no – a bicycle is not an obstruction (from dictionary in the road rules: “obstruction includes a traffic hazard, but does not include a vehicle only because the vehicle is stopped in traffic or is travelling more slowly than other vehicles”)
(e) no – not applicable
(f) no – see above

As none of the exceptions are applicable, the driver must drive completely within a lane. There is no exception for passing a bicycle.


Note that the inspector had not viewed my videos so they were not really discussed in that context. In no particular order, things discussed included:
  • Police have discretion about giving infringements, the courts have discretion about upholding them if challenged
  • Giving an infringement for rule 146 for this kind of thing is a pretty technical & minor breach and i sense its just not going to happen
  • At first I think he was saying he had discretion to class a bicycle as an obstacle so there wouldn't be a breach of 146, but I argued that the definition of an obstacle in the rules didn't seem to allow discretion when its very specific about slower moving vehicles not being an obstacle
  • There would be a stronger case for some kind of infringement if something was thrown at me, or the car loses control, or was speeding at the time etc etc. But I then asked how would you prove the car was speeding, and he said if an officer had a speed trap there ... but thats kind of not going to happen very often at all is it...

I don't think I'm going to get any further with the 146 bit. Not that I really want to or care about it, it was just a way of providing a punishment to be remembered and show things are taken seriously, when a close pass cannot be "proved" by video evidence.

We went on to discuss videos and evidence. In summary...
  • Yes a video *could* be used as evidence, but it isn't done very often and may not be given a lot of weight
  • It would need to be very obvious, and I would need to provide original out of the camera video (not edited/cut)
  • It would be much better to have both front and back and maybe side cameras, as otherwise the defence could claim that the car got further away when it was beside me
  • Any claims about distances would be very difficult to hold up in court so really it would need to show something else, that made it worse. I would need to be a witness and the first questions the defense would be asking me would be what my qualifications are as an expert witness on distances, what training I have had, how far away is that seat over there and then measure it and so on.
  • To prosecute something, it has to be for the public good, and this includes considering the seriousness of the crime, the likelihood of success and the costs involved in taking it to court (if found not guilty apparently the police have to pay defense costs)

He called me back later on after speaking to the senior sergeant I have talked to at the local station, and said to still submit the videos. If the driver does admit to something, its all good, but other than that its very touch and go as to whether anything can be done, which is kind of the same situation as before.

Feeling kind of powerless/deflated at the moment, because I don't know what the next step is - don't even know what I want. I don't have a problem with the level of proof required in a criminal case being high, its better than the alternative police state we'd end up with. Should video evidence be somehow legislated to have more weight? Don't see how this could happen or even if its a good idea. Strict liability laws? I'm not sure I agree with them. There's so many idiot cyclists and pedestrians around it doesn't seem fair, and there's enough of the wrong kind of idiots here to take it as a license to do what they like. Much tougher driving tests, repeat tests when renewing license, make it much easier to lose your license and lose it for a long time (start with less points)? I kind of like that idea (the police probably do too).

I've been living in this fantasy world where I thought if a lot of road users had cameras, and dangerous behavior was called to account, that pretty soon everything would be great and even my knicks would smell like roses at the end of a ride and my chain would never need cleaning again...

The inspector was telling me a story about one of his cases where he had an audio recording of an incident where he heard motorbikes in the distance (out of sight) revving really hard from some lights, and had run for his speed camera, and then had the 2 motorbikes come flying into view around a corner. He got the speed camera onto one bike and you can hear the sound of the radar gun locking on - 172kmh. The other motorbike overtook this bike going even faster. He pulled them over (the 2nd bike not able to stop in time, stopped 300 meters down the road before being able to turn back). First guy got shown speed on gun and knew he was done. Second guy asked if he knew how fast he was going. Rider: "70kmh". "What is the speed limit here?" Rider: "70kmh". Officer: "No its 60kmh". So it goes to court, officer is a court accepted expert witness about speeds, an experienced traffic cop, he has the audio recording which he has used to calculate their average speed as 160kmh from the last set of lights. He has the bike overtaking the other one which was doing 172kmh. End result? A ticket for 172kmh and one for 70kmh :evil:

To rub salt into my wounds, in the last couple of days I've had nothing but great driving, even considerate drivers letting me in after a shoulder check ... and a "cyclist" doing 30kmh+ overtaking through a non existant gap between me and an oncoming pedestrian on a narrow path, 2 cyclists almost mowing me down after I stopped at a stop sign (dumb of me!), and another guy on the way home overtaking me while I was obviously overtaking another pedestrian, forcing me to brake to avoid a collision. Bloody (AT)!#(AT)%^#! cyclists :roll:


Video evidence would carry a lot more weight if the were calibrated Calibration can be done before or after the fact or, preferably both before and after the fact. In the case of a calibrated image the evidence becomes much more objective and resistant to defense cross examination.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby Xplora » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:08 pm

Woods, your head checks have changed the way drivers treat you - because you are reacting differently to the traffic. Your "animal instincts" are sending different messages. That said - you really have to wonder about what is the point of these road rules and stipulations if there is no way to enforce them, even when you have a recording and a witness. It makes you wonder if you are basically dead meat in a one on one accident in a rural area. No one to back you up, no one to point the finger... you have to wonder about the usefulness of "keep left as practicable" as well if cops can't enforce much less vague rules. Any cyclist with some experience could argue it wasn't safe CONSTANTLY to avoid a TIN and just ride down the middle... I refer to my adage "a rule that can't be enforced should not be a rule".
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby find_bruce » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:55 am

exadios wrote:Video evidence would carry a lot more weight if the were calibrated Calibration can be done before or after the fact or, preferably both before and after the fact. In the case of a calibrated image the evidence becomes much more objective and resistant to defense cross examination.

What is it that you are doing to "calibrate" a video ?
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby InTheWoods » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:05 am

Xplora wrote:Woods, your head checks have changed the way drivers treat you - because you are reacting differently to the traffic. Your "animal instincts" are sending different messages.


Way too many assumptions there. I haven't changed anything, and this was on a section of road where I'm turning right and its always been fine - head check and move over if I can, otherwise a hook turn.
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby Xplora » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:26 am

InTheWoods wrote:
Xplora wrote: Your "animal instincts" are sending different messages.


Way too many assumptions there. I haven't changed anything...

It's really hard to change your inner fear. My cousin was rear ended by a car, totally the car's fault... I have been doing a LOT more headchecks lately. :oops:
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Re: Video cameras as evidence

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:22 am

InTheWoods wrote: I don't think I'm going to get any further with the 146 bit. Not that I really want to or care about it, it was just a way of providing a punishment to be remembered and show things are taken seriously, when a close pass cannot be "proved" by video evidence.

you're trying to be too cute there. if you're upset about close passing, you should seek to have the driver charged with unsafe overtaking. that is the simplest and most straightforward approach.

InTheWoods wrote: We went on to discuss videos and evidence. In summary...
  • Yes a video *could* be used as evidence, but it isn't done very often and may not be given a lot of weight

"could", "may not" - these are meaningless terms. it depends on what the video shows. there is nothing inherent in video evidence that makes it credible or not.

InTheWoods wrote:
  • To prosecute something, it has to be for the public good, and this includes considering the seriousness of the crime, the likelihood of success and the costs involved in taking it to court (if found not guilty apparently the police have to pay defense costs)

prosecution isn't necessary. for these offences, i would have thought an infringement notice would suffice. it's up to the defendant to determine whether he wishes to contest the charge in court. at that stage, the police may choose whether to proceed with or withdraw the charge. in practice, they may prefer to not issue an infringement for an offence they didn't believe they could uphold in court.

InTheWoods wrote:He called me back later on after speaking to the senior sergeant I have talked to at the local station, and said to still submit the videos. If the driver does admit to something, its all good, but other than that its very touch and go as to whether anything can be done, which is kind of the same situation as before.

this advice, and i'm taking it as you've recounted it, is flabbergasting. the way it should work is that if an offence has been committed and police are in possession of evidence they believe is sufficient to uphold a prosecution, they are duty-bound to pursue it. yes, they have powers of discretion, but discretion should be linked to circumstances - e.g. offender remorse or inconsequential (minor) nature of an offence - not an excuse for police to sit on their hands.

they way you've recounted his advice is that video footage immediately places any complaint into serious doubt and that the police are up against it from the start to prove any offence. what a load of nonsense. if the footage clearly shows an offence being committed, then there is no obvious reason why police should not act on it - other than laziness.

having said that, forward (and even rear) facing cameras often do not give a good perspective on close passing distance. but this is simply a question of what the footage shows.
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