How dashcams may get you out of tickets, scams

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- You many have hear that one of the hot new accessories for cars is the dashcam.

Police have them, so do taxis. So the question is should you?

Dashcams are growing in popularity. They can be purchased for less than $50. So, should you buy one?

A transit bus dashcam captured a hit-and-run accident on Willow Avenue in Hercules.

Earlier this month, ABC7 News showed you a police cruiser dashcam video of a hot pursuit in Ohio.

We have shown you dashcam videos of comets, car crashes and suspected insurance fraud.

In a world full of cameras, bad guys and misinterpretations of events, perhaps it is time for you to get a dashcam.

Gordon Brice lives in San Francisco and when he drives, his dashcam is on. He likes knowing if something goes wrong he has proof of who did what.

Recently when parking on a San Francisco street, he says his dashcam came in handy. "There was no car in two parking spots, so I zipped into it and pulled up one more spot because I could see there was money left on the parking meter. There is no car behind me and the camera catches that of course," Brice said.

And good thing, too. When he came back, he says, there was a car behind his and two people setting up a scam. "They said 'when you got into the parking spot you banged into our hood. You damaged our front-in.' I said what are you talking about there was no car there," Brice said.

He told them he had it all on camera. "They just left. They got in the car and left," Brice said.

Mark Fiorino used a dashcam to fight a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania.

He posted video on Youtube and said it all started when he stopped, then made a legal right hand turn on red. "I was pulled over less than a quarter mile later by a police officer from the local jurisdiction who told me he witnessed me roll through the stop sign or the stop light and not stop," he said.

Fiorino admits he crosses the white line, but says he came to a complete stop. "The argument that he made was that I never stopped at all. So when we went to court I approached my defense that way, saying I did in fact stop," Fiorino said.

And he won, he says, because of that dashcam video. "Anyone with enough common sense to recognize why we have such things as car insurance, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors can understand that having something and not needing it is much better than needing it and not have it," Fiorino said.

No mainstream automaker offers dashcams as a factory installed accessory, but automotive experts say that to be the next step. And since dashcams offer so much protection, you might wonder about an insurance discount. They are widely offered in the United Kingdom, but so far no U.S insurers are offering a discount for using a dashcam.

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