OpinionAll road vehicles should be fitted with dashboard cameras to provide evidence in accident investigations.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-09-18 at 21:43:02   (26 comments)

On 2009-09-18 at 21:45:18, Lee J Haywood wrote...
This isn't a question of law - after all, you cannot force someone to have a working, unobstructed camera. At the moment the UK has cameras in most buses (and, of course, police cars) but not in regular cars, etc. With a camera, any half-decent driver ought to improve their driving habits and work hard to avoid being in an accident. Bad drivers might not have (working) cameras, but anyone they hit will have.
On 2009-09-18 at 22:02:59, Thelevellers wrote...
It's an interesting idea, I will have to think on it a little, but I'm thinking I'll go 'yes'...
On 2009-09-19 at 00:44:37, DigitalBoss wrote...
The gubmint better keep their cameras off my car.
On 2009-09-19 at 00:44:51, DigitalBoss wrote...
...and my scooter too.
On 2009-09-19 at 01:03:34, BorgClown wrote...
I think that would be a great idea, if they were voluntary and activated at will. I don't want a camera filming everything, but surely I would want one when driving back and forth from work, and while the vehicle is parked on the street.
On 2009-09-19 at 08:41:00, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@DigitalBoss: It doesn't matter if you have a camera or not - if everyone else has one, they'll see your bad driving as you crash. The point is that the majority of vehicles should be fitted with them. @BorgClown: I doubt they'd be active when the engine is off, unless solar powered - it's highly unlikely that anyone will crash into your parked vehicle on any given day and recording passers-by would be going too far. Recording whilst parked with the engine running is okay, though.
On 2009-09-19 at 09:50:35, Thelevellers wrote...
You'd be surprised how many cars get written off while parked - my sister had some drunk and probably uninsured idiot crash into her parked car over night, wrote it off (or as good as with a cheap old car), and drove off into the night... I think the voluntary bit is the critical thing, and with that in mind I think I am for it - as a law it would be wrong, but as a voluntary smart idea to help your case (if you're a good driver) I think it has legs...
On 2009-09-19 at 12:35:23, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Thelevellers: That's why I said 'on any given day'. Plenty of cars do get hit, but whether the camera would even capture anything useful is debatable unless it covers all angles. Ideally all new cars should come fitted with a camera as standard, much like any safety device. Thinking about it, they could double up as parking assistants which would be fantastic. Yes, you could disable them legally, but trying to add a camera to a car after it's been manufactured is more difficult and expensive.
On 2009-09-20 at 00:02:05, Baslisks wrote...
I'd rather full diagnostic elements embedded into the car than cameras. You can equally dissect what happens that way. Blackboxes and the such.
On 2009-09-20 at 03:45:45, BorgClown wrote...
@Baslisks: But that would take a specialist to decipher the black box, as opposed to any dude who has eyes.
On 2009-09-21 at 04:40:07, Baslisks wrote...
@BorgClown: have a program that takes your idea of your car and matches it to the data points. Run it an dboom there you go instant grat.
On 2009-09-21 at 19:56:51, BorgClown wrote...
What about recording other bad drivers? You can't beat a 360 degree camera for that.
On 2009-09-22 at 06:30:26, Baslisks wrote...
a fish eye lens is not a pretty lens....
On 2009-09-22 at 06:33:41, Baslisks wrote...
though I do want a fish eye helmet with two sitting at the back of my head about eye distance apart and two on the front where my eyes are. hell and then a chameleon set up too on the side. An awareness helmet.
On 2009-09-22 at 10:35:02, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Personally I'd like to have cameras to assist with parking. Of course you could fit some, but then you'd have new problems - having to have a display on the dash, and having to hide it when you're not in the car so no-one breaks in to steal it. It's impractical to set up a display at the end of your journey just for a few seconds of parking time. (My other idea is to have magnifying mirrors on the ceiling, showing you the ground just outside the doors/rear).
On 2009-09-22 at 20:40:47, DigitalBoss wrote...
The computers already save data in the event of a crash.
On 2009-09-23 at 01:33:30, BorgClown wrote...
But parking is not that hard if you look before you park. I mean, if people find it hard to park, they shouldn't drive alone until they learn to.
On 2009-09-23 at 08:37:54, Lee J Haywood wrote...
People do vary in their abilities to park. My problem is that I've changed vehicles and my new one is quite high with less visibility - once you're actually trying to get into a tight space, it's too difficult to see where you are.
On 2009-09-23 at 19:30:52, DigitalBoss wrote...
Working at a university, I have learned that half of the students can't drive, and the other half can't park. Most of them can't read, and none of them can wait 5 minutes for anything.
On 2009-09-24 at 01:39:24, BorgClown wrote...
Cherokees are awful on visibility, they have huge blind spots. They are easy to park though if you take mental note of the obstacles and height/hood shape of the parked cars before squeezing in a tight spot. Some times I miss my old Century, that was such an easy car to park and drive, but overall I think anyone can learn to properly park any car without resorting to parking aids. The people I've seen struggling with a tight parking spot are usually just a little absent-minded or novice drivers.
On 2009-09-24 at 01:40:32, BorgClown wrote...
Oh, I forgot to mention that I own a Cherokee, hope that makes my previous comment less confusing.
On 2009-09-24 at 08:54:43, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The problem is that unless you're willing to hit another car, albeit at a low speed, you cannot really practice parking after passing your test. You're always going to avoid using the whole gap available to you, which makes it much harder. You could set up a mock parking space, I suppose, but no-one's going to go to that much trouble.
On 2009-09-24 at 09:04:49, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Really I'm just jealous of these systems that make it more like a video game, by combining views from 4 cameras to create a top-down view of your car as you park. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-TdWyk57CI
On 2009-09-24 at 14:08:02, Melchior wrote...
That's really cool tech, but I wouldn't decide to fit it to a car. Vans or trucks maybe... If you need it on your car, it's either a badly designed car or you need to learn how to park.
On 2009-09-24 at 18:45:47, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I do need to learn to park my new car, partly because it's simply very different to my old one. But the great thing about the camera system is being able to park very accurately, with regards to both the kerb and other cars. Plus the line between cars and vans is quite blurry in many cases.
On 2009-09-25 at 02:54:47, BorgClown wrote...
New word of the day: Kerb. Never heard it before, now I know.