A truck is driven on the wrong side of the road and overtakes dangerously on a blind corner.

A car overturns after its young driver performs a risky manoeuvre.

A BMW zooms past slow traffic on the wrong lane coming up to a corner.

These are all incidents of reckless driving that were caught on video by dash cams, placed on social media and which went viral.

Haphazard videos such as these, uploaded on Facebook or You Tube, may well help the police prosecute dangerous drivers. But the head of the Malta Insurance Association, Adrian Galea, believes that having a specific website where to upload and view dash cam footage would go further to reduce recklessness on our roads.   

In the past few months, a number of outrageous and illegal manoeuvres have made headlines after motorists with dash cams – cameras installed on their vehicles’ dashboards – shared the footage online or with news portals.

With more and more drivers opting to have their cars equipped with such devices, Mr Galea is calling for a formal system that would regulate the sharing of such footage and make it possible for the authorities to act more swiftly.

According to Mr Galea, the police claim they do take action when they receive such footage. However, the lack of a formal system means the videos only make it to the authorities by chance, he added.

The police cannot be everywhere so it’s important that we make better use of technology

“Rather than a haphazard manner of tackling this issue, it would be much more effective to have something that is formal.  Now it doesn’t matter whether it is a police website or a website by some other authority. But there needs to be a controlled process whereby people have the confidence to submit their footage safe in the knowledge that it will be properly used,” Mr Galea told The Sunday Times of Malta.

He said other countries had successfully implemented such a system, pointing to the one in Wales as an example.

Such a website would also facilitate the police’s work, he said.

“The police cannot be everywhere so it’s important that we make better use of technology. Just as we use speed cameras, why not also make use of dash cams?” Mr Galea proposed.

When asked about the suggestion, a Transport Malta spokesman said the authority’s enforcement role was “very limited” but that it worked closely with the police whenever dash cam videos appeared on social media.

He said the transport watchdog would continue to work with the popular road-monitoring app Maltese Roads Traffic Updates (MRTU). It was assessing its features and would “introduce the facility to upload videos as well in future upgrades”.

Dash cam videos that went viral

November 2017 – ‘Most dangerous’ truck driver
Two separate videos sent to the Times of Malta showed a truck being driven on the wrong side of the road, overtaking on a blind corner and then steaming through a Qormi roundabout against oncoming traffic. Within a few days, the police had arrested the driver, who was later convicted for various instances of dangerous driving.

July 2018 – Car overturns
A Volkswagen hits the strip between Aldo Moro Road and the flyover leading to Santa Venera, destroys part of the boundary wall and overturns, after its young driver tried to overtake a number of vehicles heading to Santa Venera. He is then videoed emerging from the car unscathed.

August 2018 – Dangerous manoeuvre (picture)
As traffic slows down to allow a car to exit a parking spot, a BMW emerges from its lane into the opposing lane, overtakes one car ‘wrong way’, and then repeats the manoeuvre with another car. This despite heading towards a blind corner outside the walls of Valletta.

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