Monday, February 18, 2013

About those dash-cam meteor videos from Russia

I was surprised to see so many video clips on YouTube about that meteor over Russia last week.  Turns out that dash cameras are de rigueur on many Russian vehicles.  According to Animal New York:

In Russia, everyone should have a camera on their dashboard.

. . .

Dash-cam footage is the only real way to substantiate your claims in the court of law. Forget witnesses. Hit and runs are very common and insurance companies notoriously specialize in denying claims. Two-way insurance coverage is very expensive and almost completely unavailable for vehicles over ten years old–the drivers can only get basic liability. Get into a minor or major accident and expect the other party to lie to the police or better yet, flee after rear-ending you. Since your insurance won’t pay unless the offender is found and sued, you’ll see dash-cam videos of post hit and run pursuits for plate numbers.

And sometimes drivers back up or bump their pre-dented car into yours. It used to be a mob thing, with the accident-staging specialists working in groups. After the “accident,” the offending driver–often an elderly lady–is confronted by a crowd of “witnesses,” psychologically pressured and intimidated to pay up cash on the spot. Since the Age of the Dash-cam, hustle has withered from a flourishing enterprise to a dying trade, mainly thriving in the provinces where dash-cams are less prevalent.

And then, sometimes, someone will jump under your car at a crossing, laying on the asphalt, simulating a badly hurt pedestrian waiting for that cop conveniently parked nearby. This dramatic extortion scheme was common, until the Age of the Dash-cam. Oh, and there are such juicy, triumphant tales about of would-be extortion victims turning the scheme around and telling the cast members to pay them money or they’re going to jail for this little performance! Don’t try it.

There's more at the link.  Interesting (if macabre) stuff.  Use caution if you click on any of the links in the article - some of them lead to graphic, stomach-churning video clips.



Toejam said...

I read that China is just about on par with Russia where the dash-cam is virtually required.

Socialism/Communism seems to generate lots of scam artists.

Bob in VA said...

Maybe I should get one or two (one for the wife, too). Mandatory dash cams might be a novel way to minimize the impact at car accident scenes where police tie up traffic while carrying out their investigation of how things really happened. Just grap the dash cams from each vehicle involved and solve it back at the station. Have the tow trucks hook up the wrecks and get traffic moving again pronto.