In the past, it was science fiction. Now, it is normal, and you forget they are there. But it seems that anywhere you turn, there are cameras – traffic cameras and CCTV. They are on traffic lights, light poles and the corners of buildings.
On your way home from work, as you travel through the intersection, you hear the squeal of tires as someone slams on the brakes. Suddenly, your car spins out of control, and you are helpless as it slams into the median. There is some question as to who was at fault, but you know not to admit to anything. Is there anything that can help?
Traffic cameras exist to provide surveillance for law enforcement and to watch traffic. The public does not have access to the footage. However, if you are in a car accident and sustain severe injuries, your attorney may be able to get footage to provide evidence in your case.
Private companies generally use CCTV cameras to keep an eye on their property. You may have a better chance of gaining access to this video by just asking for their help. But some businesses may have strict rules on how you can get footage. Being able to use the video from these cameras could help your case if they are near the area of your accident.
Knowing that there is a possibility a police officer’s dashcam caught your accident may only be helpful if you can gain needed information. You will need to identify the officer present by name, badge number and designation.
Trying to get a copy of the accident footage may be difficult unless you have an attorney. He or she may issue the city or business a subpoena for the release of the video. But as of Sept. 1 of this year, the governor signed a bill into law banning red-light traffic cameras. The city can continue to use its cameras until its contract expires with the camera vendor.