Fleet News

VIDEO: Crash caused by 'jumping the light' exposed by camera

Fleet news logo

An in-car video camera helped determine who was to blame when two cars collided in a city centre resulting in a £5,000 insurance claim being easily settled.

A silver Skoda Fabia drives straight into a Volkswagen Tiguan - shunting it 90 degrees to the side at a junction in Glasgow.

Police arrived at the accident scene and when told about the SmartWitness in-car camera requested that a copy of the video recording be produced as evidence.

When they saw the vehicle CCTV they used it as evidence to prove the Skoda driver was at-fault.

The Skoda driver, a Russian national who was fully insured, was subsequently prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.

John Brown, a former IT business analyst, was thankful he had invested in the high-tech camera - and had irrefutable proof of who was to blame.

He said: "Obviously I knew that I had done nothing wrong but it was good to view the footage later and see that I had been driving responsibly, within the speed limit and could be seen clearly going through a green light.”

"The other driver hit me at between 20mph and 25mph miles an hour. It was a quite a big impact because my VW was shunted around by 90-degrees."

The damage to John's car was extensive and cost an estimated £5,000 to repair.

The wheel arch, sill and a rear door were badly damaged and one of the tyres needed to be replaced.

There was further damage to the rear suspension and tracking, taking the car was off the road for four weeks.

He said: "I was driving up Hope Street in central Glasgow, one of the main routes through the city centre. I went through a green light where Hope Street meets Cowcaddens Road (a T-junction) when the Skoda came from nowhere and crashed straight into me.

"Thankfully the other driver was co-operative and admitted at the scene that he had been at fault.

"A taxi driver following the Skoda saw what had happened and agreed to be a witness.

"Nevertheless, the police were called and when I told them I had a SmartWitness camera they immediately requested a copy of the footage so that it could be added as evidence to the charges they would be bringing against the other driver.

"A few days later, when they reviewed the footage they said it was clearly proof of careless driving."

Brown said that he was relieved he had invested in the SmartWitness camera.

He said: "The footage caught on the camera was excellent. The images were clear and showed exactly who was to blame.”

"It gives you real peace of mind as a motorist to know it is there and if there is an accident you will have clear proof of exactly what happened.”

"Ironically, accident cameras are very popular in Russia where the other driver was from. I can see them becoming increasingly popular here, too, after my experience."

SmartWitness cameras have been used by hauliers and fleet managers to cut insurance premiums and guard against bogus insurance claims.

Tristar Worldwide, a chauffeuring company based in Middlesex, saved £60,000 a year on its insurance after fitting SmartWitness cameras in its 460-strong fleet.

SmartWitness managing director Simon Marsh said: "We were lucky in this case because the driver at fault was fully insured and immediately admitted liability, but that doesn't happen very often.

"Motorists will often try to blame the other driver even when they are at fault, and if there are no witness to the accident you never end up with a satisfactory solution.

"It's why more motorists are investing in vehicle cameras - it removes all the worry and doubt in the event of an accident.

"We have always been popular with owners of luxury vehicles but they are increasingly being installed by drivers of more popular models, too.

"Insurance is so expensive and even minor claims can add thousands to motorists' premiums."


Login to comment


  • Judith - 07/02/2014 13:57

    I should like to know why Driving through a Red Light and Crashing into another vehicle is referred to as an 'accident'. Driving through a Red Light is Committing a Criminal Offence and is Dangerious Driving, Crashing into another vehile is also a Criminail Offence and Cannot be excused as a 'accident'.

  • Steve - 07/02/2014 16:22

    I also wonder why these video clips are becoming common on the "news" area. Is Fleet News getting a bonus from Smart Witness?!

    • christopher.smith - 07/02/2014 16:30

      @Steve - we find these videos are very popular with our audience, and previous clips have generated plenty of discussion and debate in comments and online. We welcome clips from any camera providers - Smart Witness have sent us a few recently, but we've also featured clips from The Vehicle Group (http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2014/1/17/-crash-for-cash-fraudulent-claim-prevented-by-camera/49336/) and police forces in the last couple of months. Christopher Smith, Web Producer, Fleet News

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee