A number of parents in Southend have described their horror this evening after a 37 year old man was arrested for driving past a primary school in a vehicle with a dashboard camera.
A growing number of vehicles in the United Kingdom have a dashboard camera fitted to record footage in case of an accident, and the unnamed man was spotted while keeping within the speed limit in his VW Polo outside Shoebury Common Infants School at 3am on Monday 2nd November. Naturally there were no children present inside or outside the school at the time, but police arrested and charged the suspect as footage of the school’s exterior had been captured on his dashboard camera.
Shoebury parent David Zealato has three children at the school, and he described his relief to Southend News Network that the suspect had been taken into custody. He said, ‘I understand that no children were filmed when he passed the school, but with video editing tools so readily available these days it wouldn’t have taken much for him to add them in afterwards – why are so many people with dashboard cameras being allowed to drive past our primary schools?’
We asked a police source for guidance on this matter, and they made it perfectly clear that anyone with a dashboard camera could be prosecuted for driving within 100ft of any building with children inside – regardless of whether or not any children are actually present. He added, ‘If it is not convenient for the camera to be switched off when the driver is within 100ft of a school, youth centre, supermarket, railway station, bank or any other area that may have children present, all footage must be immediately sent off to a video editing specialist for facial blurring. There will usually be a charge of £10 per minute of footage for this service, but it is a small price to pay to keep our children safe.’
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