MP Gennady Moskal has submitted a draft bill on obligatory installation of dashboard cameras. "The very core of the draft bill is that every vehicle must have a camera on board to use the recordings as proofs in criminal proceedings. I don't think that installation of the device will hit drivers' pockets. Its cost starts from 200 hryvnias, which is less than 20 liters of fuel, while advantages are obvious," Moskal wrote.

The politician also proposes to amend the Code on administrative violations with an article providing for fining drivers (from 18 to 54 hryvnias) for having no camera or for not using it in the vehicle.

"Mass media writes that dashboard cameras help to solve crimes and protect drivers from groundless accusations, misunderstandings and frauds on the road. Experience shows that expenses for a dashboard camera, even the cheapest one, are justified in case of unpleasant situation on the road," the explanatory note to the bill reads.

ForUm has asked MPs and experts about whether the installation of dashboard cameras may change the situation on Ukrainian roads:

Vadym Karnaukhov, vice president of the International federation on drivers' rights:

- Going to Europe, as declared, we do need to harmonize our legislation in accordance with European requirements. However, our federation stands against draft bills which forcefully oblige or strictly forbid (there is one as well) installation of dashboard cameras.

Installing a dashboard camera and recording a traffic police officer is not a violation of privacy, as this police officer is on duty and his actions become public. Installing a camera a driver will have more proofs to prove his right in case of legal proceedings. Not installing the camera, the driver just loses this opportunity. But still, it should be his choice.

Such radical laws as to oblige everyone to install the devices and fine for not having them are wrong. Banning recording of police officers on duty is also wrong. There are many examples when only the recording can clarify the situation. For example, a car is on a crossroad waiting for the green light. Suddenly a car in front goes back and hits our car. Without camera recordings the driver of the car behind, who was doing nothing wrong and sitting cool, will be blamed. Only the recording can prove him right. On the other hand, quality of dashboard cameras varies, and some of them give such a bad picture that even license plates are not readable. Thus, if people have a financial possibility and want to protect themselves, the installation of cameras must be optional, not obligatory.  

Bohdan Aganin, expert on truck moves:

- In fact, dashboard cameras are a good thing. In case of car accidents, drives often have problems with insurance companies and with each other, because they cannot prove who is wrong and who is right. The major reason for denial of insurance compensation is lack of proofs. Moreover, traffic police offers often do not consider external circumstances, like weather, road works or poor condition of the very road. Simple potholes can cause an accident, and the camera can prove it. Without proofs drives are helpless in court. However, this innovation should not be introduced tomorrow. I believe people need a period to try and decide whether they need it or not.

Volodymyr Oliynyk, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on legal provision of law enforcement activities:

- The road to hell is paved with good intentions. No doubt installation of dashboard cameras and upgrading of the legal base are good things. But ask yourself a question whether drivers of old " Zhiguli" or "Moskvich" can afford to buy and install a device costing 500-600 hryvnias. Thus, obligatory installation is not an option. As for the legal base of proofs, we should work on rules and requirements to avoid in the future such misunderstandings and abuses as "this video is of poor quality", "small number of pixel", "this dashboard camera does not meet the new standards", etc.
I believe that dashboard cameras must be installed in traffic police cars, which will help to make a case and to avoid corruption, false testimonies, etc.

Vasyl Zaichenko, lawyer, former head of the Traffic Safety Center of the Traffic Police Inspection of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine:

- In Austria, for example, dashboard cameras are illegal. If such device is found in a car for the first time, the fine makes 10 thousand euro; for the second - 25 thousand euro. It is considered that filming with dashboard camera is a violation of privacy of other people, because these cameras film everything that happens outside the car windows - who goes where, who picks up whom, etc.

As for our situation, first of all, dashboard camera does not always provide proofs. For example, a pedestrian is crossing the road illegally, but the camera does not show what the driver was doing at the moment - braking or not. Secondly, before the installation dashboards must undergo certification first, and this process is such a headache. In general, this innovation looks rather odd.

Vasyl Popik, chairman of the Professional union of taxi drivers of Ukraine:

- As for road situations, this innovation will improve traffic safety, but as for paying capacity of the population, I have my doubts. I wonder if MPs understand how much such devices cost. To purchase dashboard cameras for all at state costs is one thing, but to oblige drivers to pay is another one. I don't think the goal justifies the means in this case.


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