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The dash cam and the self-righteous…

A dash cam does not make you the law. Take note.

So there I was, in the old 530i, minding my business on the M5 when I encountered my biggest motoring pet peeve – the middle lane hogger. No other traffic, just a Honda Jazz (it had to be, didn’t it?) bimbling along at 50-60mph, right there in lane two. Berk.

I indicated out from lane one, moved into lane two, indicated again into lane three and then went around the Jazz before reversing the process. Cruise control throughout. No drama, no erratic moves, just doing properly. Or not, according to the driver of the Honda.

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I was a bit confused when I looked in my mirror and saw the Honda frantically flashing me. It had to be though, as I was the only other car there. So why was she flashing? Had a rear wheel fallen off? Was my beloved BMW on fire? Was there a hippopotamus on my roof?

Then I see the hand gesture. The driver was pointing frantically (while still flashing, somewhat impressively) at her dash cam. Ah, yes, of course. The god damn dash cam. In a Honda Jazz. Satan himself couldn’t rustle up a more evil pairing.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for technology. And in this awful, litigious, ‘where there’s a blame there’s a claim’ bullshit society we live in, we need things like dash cams. We do. There are people out there crashing on purpose just to collect the whiplash claims, or at least there were until the UK put a stop to all that. Though having said that, they’ll still be doing it for some sort of pay out.

Dash cams and their accessibility are wonderful. We can remove doubt from the equation of twisted metal multiplied by shouting. They make things cut and dry. And that is brilliant. What is not brilliant, however, is becoming a self-righteous shitspatula just because you have one. This is even more the case if you yourself (looking at you Jazzy) have little to no understanding of how driving works.

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Who gave these people the idea that to buy a dash cam makes you Mad Max, CHiPs and Sheriff John Bunnell all rolled into on. Is there something in the small print I’m missing? Are they bought exclusively by people who watch Police Interceptors while shouting loudly at their TV?

It doesn’t work like that, Honda Jazz driver. A dash cam is a passive item, it should have no bearing on the way you drive. It does not preclude you from the laws, it does not make you a better driver, but most fundamentally, it does not make you right. If you pull out in front of me without warning, all you Garmin offering will do is prove you’re a berk. And your insurance needs to buy me a new car.

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A dash cam is an aid, not an excuse to be knob. Maybe instead of spending £50 on one, you should instead invest in some refresher driving lessons. Just a though. Oh, and Honda Jazz driver, I hope your animated outburst of pointing left you so enraged that you submitted the clip to the police.

They’ll be very quick to point out you were breaking the law by hogging lane two. And you can’t argue. You see, it’s all on film.

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