The camera doesn’t lie

Claims Management and Adjusting (CMA) has urged Highways England to retain CCTV footage for longer than seven days in the event of an accident.

Highways England’s National Control Centre’s CCTV monitors the UK’s road network 24/7 and alerts contactors to that fact that an incident may require attention, for example, a motorway barrier might need repairing or a fuel spillage might need clearing up.

However, the footage is only stored for seven days.

Managing director of CMA, Philip Swift, a former police detective, said, ‘When Highways England are aware of an incident, why on earth is the CCTV footage not retained? The issue of liability is key in cases of damage to Crown property. If the driver was negligent, they will likely be responsible for the repair costs. Unfortunately, it is often an innocent party who ends up colliding with a barrier, while the truly at-fault driver (the one who veered towards them and caused them to swerve) sails merrily on their way. In swerve-to-avoid incidents like these, video footage – either from dashcams or CCTV – can be extremely useful.

‘You can see why drivers, fleets and insurers get frustrated when it appears that the very people pursuing them for money, Highways England, have destroyed potentially vital evidence. Imagine how you’d feel if you weren’t at fault but you received one of these invoices including an amount for the National Control Centre operator’s time. We advise our clients to request the CCTV footage immediately, and ask for it to be supplied within five days, but Highways England’s policy in this area needs to be urgently reviewed.’