I have been reading conflicting stories about how headcams might be used in court. Are they legal? can they be used? Is there anything a biker should be aware of when using one?


First of all, there is no rule banning headcam footage from being used in court. Subject to some rules about continuity of evidence (in criminal cases), it will be admissible in any courtroom. This means footage could be used against you in a criminal case, even if it is your own footage.

I have used headcam footage in support of a claim, and also had it used against a biker client in a criminal court. The problem is that everyone has a dashcam these days. This creates the potential for a ‘traffic cop’ to be sitting on the windscreen of every car you overtake.

Operation SNAP, if you haven’t already heard about it, is the police response to poor driving being captured on dashcam. You can now upload it to the force area in which the offence took place, and it is likely a Notice of Prosecution (NIP) will drop through the letterbox of the offending motorist.

Strict timeframes exist: for example, if you are alleged to be travelling at excess speed, the police must get a NIP to you within 14 days. If the dashcam hero doesn’t send the footage to the police until 10 days after the incident, it is likely the police won’t be able to comply with the deadline. You may then have a complete defence to the prosecution case, but get legal advice as this area of law can be complicated.

I recall speaking to a biker who was on a ride out with some mates. Sadly, one of the bikers made a mistake and was hit by a motorcar. It resulted in a fatality.

At the time of he accident, no one was doing anything silly. However, the police turned up and asked for his GoPro. He was honest and told the copper it contained some exuberant riding a while before the accident, but at the time, everyone was riding sensibly. The copper told him, ‘I am only interested in the two minutes before the crash, nothing else’. True to his word , the copper only looked at the two minutes before the crash and disregarded everything else.

Could he have been prosecuted for dangerous riding before the crash? The answer is yes. You could argue that the footage cannot be used under S.79 of PACE, entitled ‘exclusion of unfair evidence’, and base it on the assurance given to you by the copper. It isn’t a comfortable place to be in, which is why my best advice is to not ride like a spoon unless you’re happy for it to be played out in a

Gavin Grewal

Fast Bikes July 2023