Fight against those who refuse to use the emergency lane: police rely on dashcams
Test phase started ─ Minister Reul: Mini cameras are useful witnesses behind the windshield.
Ministry of the Interior of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

The North Rhine-Westphalian freeway police are now using so-called dashcams in the fight against those who refuse to use the emergency lane. "Too many drivers are still blocking the emergency lane and risking lives in the process. With the cameras, we will be able to punish these violations more consistently in future," said Interior Minister Herbert Reul today at the presentation of the cameras at the Mönchengladbach freeway police station. "These mini cameras are useful witnesses behind the windshield." Since March, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of the Interior, together with the state road safety organization and Straßen.NRW, have been promoting the emergency lane with 250 banners on freeway bridges.

The term dashcam comes from the English language and literally means dashboard camera. A total of 50 high-resolution HD cameras will be distributed to the patrol cars of the freeway police in Bielefeld, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Cologne and Münster - initially for a one-year test phase. "The razor-sharp video recordings will enable police officers to identify traffic offenders retrospectively based on their license plate numbers. There is neither the time nor the opportunity to do this during an acute operation," explained Reul.

Since the end of 2017, those who refuse to use the rescue lane have already been threatened with a higher fine including a driving license suspension. "It must be clear to everyone: emergency lanes save lives. The higher penalties are therefore exactly right. With the cameras, we are ensuring that those who refuse to use the lane are finally recorded," said the Minister of the Interior.

The recording of bystanders will be reduced to a legally permissible minimum. "The cameras will only be switched on in the case of persistent emergency lane refusers. Road users who abide by the rules therefore have nothing to worry about," said Reul.

Background on the camera

The camera, model A7S from the manufacturer TrueCam, has a display diagonal of 2.7 inches in 16:9 format. It has a super-wide 21:9 image with a resolution of 2560x1080 pixels, 30 fps (frames per second) and a shooting angle of 130 degrees. Thanks to additional LED lighting and the HDR ("high dynamic range") function, high-quality and detailed images can also be captured in difficult viewing conditions. The recordings are saved on a micro SD memory card up to a maximum of 32 GB.

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