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Caught on Camera

Devon and Cornwall Police have reprimanded nearly 10,000 drivers and riders for offences on the road thanks to Operation Snap. Set up in 2019, the system invited members of the public who had spotted on-road misdemeanors to upload footage from dash cams and helmet cams to an online portal. It received more than 6000 videos in 2023 alone.

“More people are using dash cams and helmet cameras than ever before,” said the force’s Head of Road Safety, Adrian Leisk. “But also more members of the public are now aware of Op Snap and understand that they have the power to do something about poor driving.”

Bikes and cars overtaking on solid white lines, tractors passing cyclists dangerously close and drivers using phones while on the move are among the clips uploaded, some of which can be viewed on Youtube (search for ‘Operation Snap’) where they’ve been uploaded by Devon and Cornwall Police.

BMF Chair Jim Freeman was in two minds about this latest development in catching errant motorists: “We’ve all been there, ‘ Mad numpty, that’s really stupid/reckless etcetera.’ Well, with Operation Snap, you can do something about it. Open to abuse? Possibly, a classic would be a car driver, whose vehicle accelerates at the speed of a slug, who sees a bike overtaking where the driver thinks it’s impossible, based on their own experience, then filming it. The camera never lies? Mmh, very easy to misinterpret though. Big Brother and Photoshop, anyone?”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Devon and Cornwall Police