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Dashboard Camera Evidence

November 7, 2019

Edited dashcam video sufficiently reliable

In Dainov v. Lee, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted a motion for summary judgement to dismiss the action involving a minor car crash based solely the evidence from one of the car’s dashboard cameras and the parties’ testimonies. In essence, the only important evidence concerning the accident came from the dashcam, and unless that evidence was inadmissible the defendant would succeed. Because it was admitted, the plaintiff’s case was dismissed.

To be admissible the video had to be a fair and accurate representation of the events, and not impair trial fairness. The plaintiff objected to the use of the video on the basis of three arguments: 1) the video was edited to show only the first 26 seconds leading up to the collision; 2) the original video and the dashboard camera were no longer available, and; 3) the limited field of view of the dashboard camera made the video unreliable.

The judge rejected all three of these reasons. Although only a short period before the accident was on the video, the portion edited out was from another location and was not relevant. Although the plaintiff argued that portion of the video would have shown the road conditions on the night, the parties did not disagree about that. The plaintiff did not explain why the original would be required, and had not suggested the video was doctored in any way. With respect to the third argument, any camera has a limited field of view, but the narrow field in this case was sufficient to demonstrate the positions and speed of the vehicles involved, and clearly indicated the defendant gave the plaintiff a reasonable opportunity to avoid a collision.

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