PRETORIA, South Africa – The popularity of having a fascia or windscreen-mounted camera – commonly, if incorrectly, called ”dashcams” – is growing after being identified as motorists using them as necessary technology for drivers.
Ford SA has responded by introducing an unobtrusive USB charging port located in vehicles’rear-view mirror.
The benefits of a dashcam were first realised by police, particularly in the US during the 1980s, but those were mounted on a tripod on the vehicle’s fascia rather than the windscreen.
Since then digital technology shrunk the cameras; they’re cheaper, record with better definition and mounting and removal are easier because they require no permanent attachment.
A dashcam video can prove vital to proving fault after a collision – their evidence is irrefutable and especially important if you’re driving alone and the other vehicle has several occupants who ”agree” on evidence.
So, Ford’s adding of a power socket to the rearview mirror of Ford’s 2020 Ranger Raptor, Thunder and Wildtrak units adds convenience and neatness and eliminates unsightly wires.
The socket is, Ford says, universally compatible with most mainstream dashcams but Ford dealers can offer the latest models that include GPS tracking.
Yusuf Abramjee, an anti-crime activist, told The Corner in the media release: “A dashcam has become an essential recording tool. In many instances its product can be put forward as evidence, especially if an insurance claim has been instituted.
It can also prove the identity of roadside attackers. Abramjee added: “Dashcams provide an accurate timeline and can ensure that vital information – vehicle registration, individual character descriptions, aggressive behaviours – are recorded.”
Driving Skills For Life, which uses Ford vehicles to raise the standard of young drivers in South Africa, also supports dashcams. Dale Reid product marketing manager at Ford SA, explained: “They generate peace-of-mind. Often it’s the small things – such as a dashcam – that make the biggest difference and the mirror power socket power brings value to customers.”
As South African traffic returns to pre-Covid levels the number of traffic violations and accidents will increase. A dashcam can make a big difference to any journey.
Ford added: ”The more dashcams there are the better our collective defence will be against illegal actions on our roads.”