The Scottish public would back an online system to help catch dangerous drivers and make the country’s roads safer, according to a new poll.
In the YouGov survey for the Cycling UK charity, 59% said they would support an online system which would allow people to upload and report footage of dangerous driving to Police Scotland.
Just 17% of respondents were against the idea.
Cycling UK says 40 of 45 UK police forces already use such a system, suggesting they have saved the equivalent of 29 years of police time in just three years.
Jim Densham, the charity’s campaigns and policy manager for Scotland, said: “The Scottish public want to see this life-saving measure brought in.
“The evidence shows it will save police time and hold dangerous drivers to account.
“The decision is a no-brainer and we hope the Government will work with Police Scotland to make our roads safer as soon as possible.
“Introducing this new system would be a signal of intent from both the Government and Police Scotland on making good on the Vision Zero target.
“Road crime is real crime – the submission of video evidence will help ensure it is dealt with appropriately, while also freeing up valuable police time to deal with other serious crimes.”
The charity suggests a camera footage system would make it easier to report and prosecute road crimes while saving police between eight and 12 hours on average per case.
In February this year the Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland published “Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2030” with “an ambitious long-term goal where no-one is seriously injured or killed on our roads by 2050” – the Vision Zero target.
The following month, Cycling UK was one of 33 organisations to write a joint letter to Police Scotland calling for such a system to be brought in, along with the AA and RAC.
AA president Edmund King said: “There is now evidence that the majority of road users, including drivers, and a major coalition of road and safety groups support a camera footage reporting system to make the roads safer in Scotland.
“AA members have been supportive of our Think Bikes sticker campaign for some years and this initiative, targeted at dangerous drivers and riders, can further improve road safety for all.”
Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock, head of road policing at Police Scotland, said reducing the number of road casualties is a priority.
“We are always looking at ways to enhance our ability to investigate road traffic offences,” she said.
“We regularly use footage from dashcams, headcams and CCTV to investigate road traffic collisions and offences, and we can currently receive digital submissions from the public, once a crime report has been made.
“Our public contact and engagement strategy outlines our commitment to improving our technology to meet the changing needs of people and enable next generation policing.
“We have already carried out initial scoping of the potential introduction of an online portal for public submission of video footage, similar to that used by forces in England and Wales. We are currently in discussions with partners on how we can progress this within Scotland.”
She added: “We will continue to work with Transport Scotland and other road safety partners to develop our approach, with a view to making the best use of available technology to reduce road casualties and improve safety on Scotland’s roads.”