JEDDAH: Dash cams are gaining popularity in Saudi Arabia as people install them to record violations, car accidents and dangerous actions to share on social media.
It is a clear sign that people are fed up with reckless drivers who put citizens and residents in harm’s way and are hoping to catch violators.
The camera installed on the front or back dashboard of the vehicle acts as a silent witness to record every detail that takes place in front of the camera. It serves as the best evidence that can be presented to authorities when accidents take place or when a violation is committed.
More commonly used in the West, there are thousands of clips on YouTube and social media of road accidents on the road, dangerous driving and road rage incidents.
Alongside Saher cameras, the automated speed cameras used in major cities to catch violators of traffic laws, dash cams are another technology in the fight against road violations. Most of these violations are shared on social media with the traffic department through its official Twitter account @eMoroor’ and public security account @kamnapp.
Videos circulating on social media under an Arabic hashtag that roughly translates as “dash cam catches” or “dash cam recordings” document drivers veering a sharp left at a traffic light while on the furthest righthand lane, driving on the wrong side of the road, aggressively switching lanes without signaling, tailing, road rage, driving on the hard shoulder and more.
In a recent clip a dash cam installed in a parked car documented a theft from another car. Activated by a motion sensor, it recorded two youths who were walking round a parking area at night, behaving suspiciously. In less than 10 seconds, they snatched the car wheel covers from both sides and walked away, not knowing that the dash cam had recorded it all.
One dash cam store owner said he noticed a noticeable increase in dash cam sales as drivers are becoming more aware of how to protect themselves from fraud, theft and traffic violations that they have no control over.