ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — They’ve been a tool for law enforcement officers for decades.
Now, more drivers are installing dashboard cameras.
They record your actions on the road — and keep an eye on other drivers.
All new tonight — WESH 2’s Amanda Ober finds out why troopers think they’re a good idea.
From violent car crashes, to planes falling out of the sky, to meteors — shocking images are being captured on video by dash cams.
Marty Cyr installs dash cams and has seen a jump in demand from everyday drivers.
“A lot of new people are asking about them, a lot of people you wouldn’t think would have an interest in a product like this are starting to realize the value,” Cyr said.
Retiree Bill Schulze decided to get a camera installed his new Tesla.
“I figure this will give me protection in several areas, okay,” Schulze said.
Schulze hopes the camera will not only provide valuable evidence if he’s in an accident, but also if he’s the victim of theft or road rage.
WESH 2 News got a look at a camera inside a car that is a full surveillance system that is both touch and sound sensitive. You can see the view from the back, and you can see the view from the front.
The camera costs over $1,000, but you can find dash cams online for well under $50.
Sgt. Kim Montes with the highway patrol is a fan of the devices
“It can protect you if you get into a crash where there’s not witnesses and the physical evidence doesn’t show who’s at fault. That dash cam may be the only voice to show you didn’t do something wrong,” said Sgt. Kim Montes, of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Montes said in July, a personal dash cam recorded video of a blue Ford Mustang sliding across State Road 528 into the opposite lane and smashing into an SUV. The Mustang driver was killed. Witnesses claimed it was the result of road rage and that another driver had hit the Mustang before it lost control.
“We thought we were looking for a hit-and-run driver and then that driver came to us with his very own dash cam to prove he wasn’t involved in the crash and he was exonerated,” Montes said.
Dash cams can prove valuable for more than just crashes.
“We can record all the time, when the car is off and when the car is on. Again, to protect a parked car when you’re not even there,” Cyr said.
Drivers who make the investment say it’s worth it
“I figure it’s an investment in safety and peace of mind,” Schulze said.