Days Contract Hire is giving customers the option of fitting CCTV and journey recorder technology in their vehicles to promote safe driving and tackle insurance claim fraud such as so-called ‘cash for crash’ scams.
The company has almost 10,000 vehicles on its books and is one of the first contract hire and leasing companies in the country to offer this technology.
The technology has been developed bySurrey-based Smartwitness, the vehicle CCTV and safety systems division of Y3K, a global manufacturer and distributor of professional CCTV systems.
It has the ability to modify driver behaviour, resulting in improved road safety, reduced fuel economy, and vehicle wear and tear and maintenance cost improvements due to a reduction in harsh acceleration and braking.
In the event of a road crash or other incident, the windscreen-mounted camera that records a driver’s view of the road ahead can provide court admissible evidence and protection against fraudulent claims, including whiplash, ‘cash for crash’ incidents and false accusations of driving offences.
Evidence filmed by the camera on a 44-hour video loop could also prove helpful to businesses and drivers in the event of a dispute with a customer perhaps over a vehicle delivery or appointment.
The camera continuously records a driver’s view via a 170-degree high quality lens, while a vehicle’s exact location is recorded via Google Maps and Google Earth to also show road conditions, signage, and even road markings.
The camera digitally records ‘what really happened’, including braking and acceleration speeds and collision G-forces, on to a SD (secure digital) media card for future downloading by a fleet manager on to a PC.
Cameras are available in lockable, tamper-proof versions and have E9 European Approval, certified as suitable for commercial vehicle installation.
The lockable case prevents access to the unit, buttons and the SD memory card.
The camera can be wired into a vehicle’s ignition or plugged into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter.
Fleets already equipping vehicles with the technology have transformed their accident frequency, claims record and significantly reduced incident costs.
The technology can also work in tandem with telematics and vehicle tracking solutions sourced via Days Contract Hire’s partnership with Quartix so that a real time notification of an incident/accident can be sent instantly to a driver’s employer.
Days Contract Hire’s new partnership with Smartwitness and fitting specialist eDrive means that it is able to provide in-vehicle video recording cameras to clients at a special rate.
Cameras can be fitted to vehicles and then transferred to new vehicles on defleet.
Jay Lovell, client development executive at Days Contract Hire, said: “The system can be used to achieve significant cost savings, improve duty of care compliance and assist in the defence of drivers in the event of an incident.
“There is concern, particularly in the public sector, that commercial vehicles are being targeted by ‘cash for crash’ gangs. If a camera is recording a vehicle’s journey then detailed evidence can be provided to those investigating the evidence.
“We recommend that fleets have the technology wired in so that when the vehicle starts the camera begins recording. Video footage can also prove particularly useful if an incident occurs involving a multi-driver vehicle and there is a discrepancy of who was at the wheel.”
Adam Wild, strategic partner manager at Smartwitness, said: “The evidence from our cameras overcomes conflicting reports of actual events and lack of witnesses.
“Historically, vehicle CCTV cameras were only fitted by a handful of companies to HGVs. But the corporate focus on occupational road risk management, the growth in fraudulent insurance claims and insurance companies concerned at the changing profile of claims means demand for the technology is increasing across public and private sector fleets.
“Within two hours of an incident, a fleet manager can submit a report to their insurer that shows exact location, vehicle speed, deceleration, road conditions, as well as video footage of what really happened.”