Why dash cams are an essential part of any Russian driver's kit


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The Independent Online

The car in front suddenly reverses and smashes into the bonnet. Immediately the driver and a man who appears to be a lawyer disembark and confront the driver of the vehicle they have rammed.

But when he points at his camera they pause, shake their heads, and get back in their own vehicle.

Such incidents – one of dozens captured on dash cams and posted on youtube over the past couple of years – perfectly illustrates the perils of the road that made dash cams an essential part of any Russian driver's kit.

Partly to thwart shakedowns by the country's notoriously corrupt traffic police, but equally useful for legal protection against the recklessness for fellow road users and the incidents of road rage and occasionally false insurance claims that can result.

And they have also resulted in a new phenomena on the Russian internet.

The dash cams that captured some of the first images of Friday's meteor strike in Chelyabinsk gained the devices world attention, but drivers have also captured numerous car crashes, a fighter jet buzzing cars, and in battle tank charging across the road.

It doesn't always work out well though. Earlier this month Russian police said they had finally caught one Youtube user who had become notorious for posting videos of extremely highspeed joy rides through Moscow's traffic.