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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Your camera,, your computer, your freedom, and police rights.

What right do police have to interrogate a piece of kit, on a fishing exercise after an accident, that you didn't ask for, has been installed in your car for Air Bag operation, belongs to you and paid for by you?  

Event Data Recorder
Well of course police would have no authority to examine anything you own after an accident would they. So here's one good reason why police no longer acknowledge road accidents and treat them all as crime. In effect your car is now a crime scene. See more on the cancellation of accidents here. 

 'But the most obvious reason that the word 'accident' has been ditched is that police can look for a culprit from the word go. In fact, the routine arrest of drivers after an accident before anything has been established is all part of this.'

Let's make a distinction between examining a piece of personal kit, like a phone or a laptop that is actually pertinent to or the cause of a suspected crime, such as texting whilst driving or grooming kiddies etc which you have employed and used, as opposed to a data recorder that you own and has not caused or is suspected of causing the accident and that you haven't used. If tyres or brakes could've caused the accident, then yes by all means police are right to investigate them for negligence or for a fault but EDRs do not cause accidents and are just part of an air bag system. 

'In The USA the information stored in EDRs is useful for the composite data it generates about air bag use and effectiveness. It is also useful in individual instances because it provides information about a vehicle’s use and condition in the moments before an accident. This clip of information can prove crucially important. It has already been used in multiple cases to prosecute drivers who were driving at reckless speeds before fatal collisions.. Despite many drivers’ insistence that while driving they did not exceed reasonable speeds, EDR data often indicated otherwise, and has been admitted against many drivers at trial to secure felony convictions for reckless driving.'

'A 55-year-old man was prosecuted at Oxford Crown Court for causing death by dangerous driving when his Chrysler 300 ploughed into the back of a queue of traffic on the M40.
The 70mph impact killed a passenger in the vehicle in front of him.
American car manufacturers must make airbag systems that can be investigated to assess speed, deceleration and braking in the event of a crash.
Read was asked by Thames Valley Police to assess the data, which revealed the driver had only started to brake 0.5 seconds before impact.
“The data was crucial in successfully prosecuting the driver' 

I do not support any form of dangerous driving or any driver offences but justice is far more important than any driving issues. Convictions cannot be based on the accused incriminating themselves without consent.

Why; just look at the formal police caution that explains to you your right not to incriminate yourself verbally and that is for statutory crime, not merely because police are making accidents a crime just because there's been an accident. 

The prosecution cannot even compel a spouse to betray their partner to provide evidence against them in a road case. So to be able to go fishing in a system whereby the defendant is effectively providing police with evidence against himself is clearly wrong. 

Tell police they do not have your consent to use your kit against you and if they ignore you, make sure you tell your solicitor so it's challenged at any hearing. Why not? 

More on EDR here.

What about Dash Cams?
Well again, for all the very same reasons, it didn't play any part or was relevant to any accident. Do not allow police to examine it until you have down loaded the pictures yourself and ensured they support you and don't incriminate you. It's your kit for your protection. Like all defendants, it's for the prosecution to make their case and not for you to make it for them.

Finally, it's the habit for police, when they stop drivers who they suspect of an offence, to ask them to sit in the rear of their car. They then lock them in. This is for police security where often a lone officer can be quite vulnerable. If they then decide to arrest you or you become animated, they then merely send for assistance as you're already in custody. 

Always politely decline to get into any police car. It really doesn't look good if the neighbours are watching. Why not invite the officer to sit in your car instead; especially if in inclement weather? You do have the choice and who wants to be locked into a police car anyway? It's very intimidating you know.

Make the Anti Driver Taliban prove their own cases without your help.

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