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Dashcam owners rejoice - videos could become substantial evidence in court

March 15, 13:33 UTC+3
A Russian lawmaker on Tuesday said courts should take into account the data from dashboard cameras when considering arbitration and civil cases
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© Alexandra Mudrats/TASS

MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russian dashboard cameras, a globally known phenomenon, could become even more popular and useful.

Courts should take into account the data from dashboard cameras when considering arbitration and civil cases, Federation Council senator Andrey Klishas said on Tuesday.

The corresponding amendments were submitted to the lower house of Parliament - the State Duma - earlier today in preparation for the second reading of the draft law. It was approved in the first reading in February.

Wording is key

Authors of the amendments noted that according to existing legislation, photos, videos and sound recordings may be reviewed as evidence only at the court discretion. So drivers could never be sure they could prove their position in court even if they had the video to back it up.

In this regard, it is proposed to change the wording in the Article 89  of the Arbitration Procedural Code from “may be reviewed as evidence” to “represent evidence” and rewrite part of the Article 55 of Civil Procedural Code as following: “The sources of such information are explanations of the sides and third parties, eyewitnesses’ accounts, written and physical evidence, materials from photography and filming, sound and video recordings, experts’ conclusions and other information carriers.”

Lawmakers say this will help boost driver confidence and security, while cutting corruption.

“The peremptory requirement does not only eliminate uncertainty that can be a corruption factor, but also obliges to review materials from photography and filming, sound and video recordings (including from dashboard camers) as evidence in a trial,” the explanatory note said.

YouTube phenomenon

Dashboard cameras are very popular in Russia as drivers tend to install them as back-up in case of emergencies to avoid false accusations and fraud. Because of their widespread use, videos of random and sometimes idiosyncratic mishaps on Russian roads have become a whole new genre on YouTube.

Tank crossing a road in Russia's Urals

On February 15, 2013 a meteorite hit Russia's Chelyabinsk region, and its spectacular flight was widely recorded thanks to dashcams. Warning: foul language in Russian.

Some drivers even managed to capture the most unexpected vehicle on the road. This happened in early 2013 in Nizhny Tagil, a city famous for its tank factory Uralvagonzavod.

But it's not just 'close shave' moments and awful crashes that dashcams capture. This compilation of various acts of kindness on Russian roads touched the hearts of millions on YouTube:

Compilation of various acts of kindness on Russian roads ©ArkadiYM93

If given the green light, the law could come into force three months later.

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