Everybody knows that what you upload into the abyss, known as the internet or social media, can follow you into the real world. We’ve all heard the stories of people unable to get jobs or into the school of their dreams due to questionable things they have uploaded online in the past. So, it should be no surprise that what you upload to the internet can have serious repercussions! However, can specific videos in a vehicle translate to the type of proof that can lead to charges or tickets? Even if not uploaded to social media, can Ontario police issue tickets based on video evidence submitted to them? Luckily, isure has everything you need to know on the topic that may make you think twice before uploading that “cool” video of driving double the speed limit. Furthermore, we have tips on what you can do to help prevent speeding, street racing, and reckless activities behind the wheel.
Tickets and online videos: Can I get a ticket from social media videos?
One quick search on YouTube or any social media platform will bring up hundreds of videos and photographs of people speeding and driving recklessly. But can tickets or charges be laid towards these people after the fact? Is the fact they recorded themselves and uploaded it to social media enough to incriminate them? Well, the answer is yes! In an Instagram Q&A done by the Peel Regional Police, Constable Robinson states that police can issue tickets based on online or submitted video evidence.
“In short, yes, we can issue tickets based off evidence shared and sent to us online,” Robinson states. “A lot of people actually forget that police have social media.” Robinson goes on to explain a recent scenario where a man in a Ferrari posted himself racing a motorcyclist. He then uploaded the footage online.
“He had a rude awakening when he got charged,” Robinson says. “After a brief investigation, we were able to locate the driver, [and] from there, we were able to charge him with stunt driving.” The driver then had to live with his Ferrari getting impounded for 30 days. Additionally, the incriminating video footage landed him with a licence suspension for 14 days.
What qualifies as ‘video evidence’?
Just because you haven’t uploaded your reckless driving to social media, doesn’t necessarily mean you are safe from a potential ticket. Nowadays, with electronics becoming more and more advanced, there are many different methods of recording and documenting people breaking the law. This includes:
- Cell phone footage
- Dashcam footage (whether it’s your own or from another vehicle)
- Security camera footage
- Red light camera footage
How can I report reckless driving to the police?
If you are on the road and witness reckless driving, taking the necessary steps to avoid hurting yourself or others is important. It can be tempting to pull out your mobile phone and begin recording people speeding. However, if you are behind the wheel yourself, taking out your cell phone can be a dangerous maneuver. Not only is it illegal and a chargeable offense, but it is extremely dangerous. You may end up implicating yourself as a result of your video submission! However, if you’re a pedestrian or passenger in a vehicle, it is safe to do so.
In situations such as these, you will want to first call 911 or your local law enforcement (such as Crime Stoppers 416-222-8477 (TIPS).) Reckless driving is dangerous and against the law, so it is an emergency. When you can, pull over safely to the side of the road before using your cell phone. As an alternative, you can use your built-in Bluetooth speaker phone to call the police without stopping.
Can I use online videos to support a claim?
If you are in a situation where you have acquired video evidence and you wish to use it, it is best to contact the police via phone or online source once you are home and safe. Most, if not all, municipalities in Ontario will have an online address in which you can report instances, such as theft, vandalism, local traffic issues, and more. And always remember, NEVER insert yourself into a dangerous situation when a crime is taking place! If you’re looking to use a dashcam or other footage to back your insurance claim, provide your insurer with the video footage for review.
Remember, careless driving will always come with consequences and is never worth it! Not only will this result in endangering others. To summarize, yes, online videos can lead to tickets and/or charges from the police. If caught doing an illegal act on camera, you can also see a huge spike in your insurance premiums. You may even be labeled a high-risk driver! If you need to submit a claim or would like to request a quote, contact us today.