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Thanks to Dashcam, got out of reckless ticket and potentially very expensive lawsuit

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rajetta

Member
Apr 10, 2015
42
48
Northern VA
It happened 3 months back, I posted this video and deleted as it was still in court. Last week, cops and prosecutor dropped the charges immediately after watching the video.
In my lawyer own words - without video , you have no chance: cops gave ticket and the motorcyclist had 3 witnesses. Motorcyclist also can sue me for hundreds of thousands of dollars , if not more.

 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,587
13,539
Riverside Co. CA
I remember this from your original posting. Interesting to see how it turned out, thanks for posting. Also "interesting" to hear that the motorcyclist had "3 witnesses". I suppose that all three witnesses reported seeing something that was different than the video?

I think more car manufacturers are missing out by not having a dashcam option in their cars, especially in the "mass market luxury" category, which I consider to be BMW / Audi / Lexus / Mercedes / Acura / Cadillac etc. They should offer a dashcam in their "technology" packages, now that most of them have navigation as standard. The more dashcams on the road, the better we off we all are in regards to frivolous lawsuits etc.
 

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,872
34,812
This is a remarkable sequence of events! Proof positive that eyewitness observations by human beings are often completely in error. To be fair it is quite reasonable to imagine that the eyewitnesses thought they saw a different sequence of events.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,539
4,897
Kaneohe, HI
Why are so many people still complaining that manufacturers should be adding dash cams to cars? Why try to change the manufacturer by whining about something you have no input to? You think you will avoid the expense of paying for it if it comes in the car? Really? Manufacturer add-ons cost more as accessories because they have their logo on them. Not everyone will want one or to pay for it. So you want to trade whining that there's not one for whining that there's one I don't need and don't want to pay for? It will likely be missing features you wish it had, so you will need to complain about that too. They haven't - its a fact, gen on with life.

Be very happy that there are hundreds of different dash cam models to choose from. $40 ones to $400 ones. Want a dash cam in your car? PUT one in your car. Some use AA batteries, some plug into a power port, some you can hard wire. There's dozens that will work for you and have the features you want. PICK one. I don't depend on the Tesla one; its nice that it's there. But you can't have too much security or driving coverage, I added TWO to mine.
 
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rajetta

Member
Apr 10, 2015
42
48
Northern VA
Yes, all 3 eye witnesses agreed with motor cyclist version that I came into his lane without turn lights.
Videos show that they have no chance of actually seeing what happened. One guy who stopped was immediately behind him on the right lane- even the chance of him looking at what happened is slim... He is just entering the highway and he is 5 Lanes across.
 

rajetta

Member
Apr 10, 2015
42
48
Northern VA
Why are so many people still complaining that manufacturers should be adding dash cams to cars? Why are you trying to change the manufacturer by whining about something you have no input to? They haven't - its a fact, gen on with life. There's hundreds of different dash cam models. From $40 ones to $400 ones. Want a dash cam in your car? PUT one in your car. I don't depend on the Tesla one, I added TWO to mine.
I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect the car manufacturer to add this feature. All cars have rear camera and some even have 4 cameras for 360 view. They just need to enable recording.. as usual they charge for everything, so why not?
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,587
13,539
Riverside Co. CA
Why are so many people still complaining that manufacturers should be adding dash cams to cars? Why are you trying to change the manufacturer by whining about something you have no input to? They haven't - its a fact, gen on with life. There's hundreds of different dash cam models. From $40 ones to $400 ones. Want a dash cam in your car? PUT one in your car. I don't depend on the Tesla one, I added TWO to mine.

Because many people want OEM options on their cars without having to go aftermarket. Its a missed opportunity for money for most car manufacturers, because it would be trival for them to add during building, while after the fact it can be done, but is not nearly as trivial.

Kind of like wanting ethernet ports in all the rooms of your house. If done while building the home, trivial. If done afterwards, not so trivial. I also dont consider saying "XX X is missing out" as "complaining". Its my opinion there would be a large revenue opportunity for manufacturers by adding this feature. I am glad that tesla has this feature built into my car, as I have no intention of tapping into anything to run an aftermarket solution for this.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,539
4,897
Kaneohe, HI
I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect the car manufacturer to add this feature. All cars have rear camera and some even have 4 cameras for 360 view. They just need to enable recording.. as usual they charge for everything, so why not?
It is reasonable to expect them to do it. But in 100 years they have not, but there's is an alternative. That's what I am trying to get across.
 
It happened 3 months back, I posted this video and deleted as it was still in court. Last week, cops and prosecutor dropped the charges immediately after watching the video.
In my lawyer own words - without video , you have no chance: cops gave ticket and the motorcyclist had 3 witnesses. Motorcyclist also can sue me for hundreds of thousands of dollars , if not more.


Can you explain more about what happened? It looks like you did start to merge to the left and then came back to the right (you can see on the front dash cam the lane lines are almost in the middle of the car right before the accident). Still his fault but just wondering what happened there.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,873
3,584
Maine
Congrats, I remember that thread. The case seemed rather daunting with the biker's buddies as "witnesses". So, what was the real story? Was the biker not paying attention? Was it a scam, as some people thought, to extort insurance money? Incredibly dangerous to be a scam.

While it seems simple enough for a mfr to record from a front/back cam, it really isn't. Look at Tesla. Their system isn't all that great, and they have more software expertise than your average mfr. The quality of their video image is worse than any sub $100 dash cam I've seen. We still don't get a date/time stamp overlay or speed or GPS coordinates. I'm hopeful that those things will come, but you can't fix a low-res camera, can you? I'm still running an old dash cam looking out the back of my car. Wish I didn't have to, but until Tesla improves their software, I will.
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,085
2,796
Maryland
What a great ending! I also remember your original post, and a lot of people where saying it might be a scam. The motorcyclist is a douchebag for claiming that was your fault.

Somebody should Tweet this to Elon or Fred at Electrek.

Where was this btw? The Beltway?
 

MichaelP90DL

Active Member
Apr 19, 2019
1,606
1,650
Lancaster, CA
Congrats, I remember that thread. The case seemed rather daunting with the biker's buddies as "witnesses". So, what was the real story? Was the biker not paying attention? Was it a scam, as some people thought, to extort insurance money? Incredibly dangerous to be a scam.

While it seems simple enough for a mfr to record from a front/back cam, it really isn't. Look at Tesla. Their system isn't all that great, and they have more software expertise than your average mfr. The quality of their video image is worse than any sub $100 dash cam I've seen. We still don't get a date/time stamp overlay or speed or GPS coordinates. I'm hopeful that those things will come, but you can't fix a low-res camera, can you? I'm still running an old dash cam looking out the back of my car. Wish I didn't have to, but until Tesla improves their software, I will.
Same here. On my 2015 S, one dashcam up front, other looking out the back. Not pretty but they might keep me out of trouble some day.
 
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What a great ending! I also remember your original post, and a lot of people where saying it might be a scam. The motorcyclist is a douchebag for claiming that was your fault.

Somebody should Tweet this to Elon or Fred at Electrek.

Where was this btw? The Beltway?

Would be happy to write this up for Electrek. Rajetta if you've got any more details you'd like to share please get in touch.
 
Can you explain more about what happened? It looks like you did start to merge to the left and then came back to the right (you can see on the front dash cam the lane lines are almost in the middle of the car right before the accident). Still his fault but just wondering what happened there.
That looks like what happened to me. I can't understand why the biker would try to cut a maneuver like that so close though.
 
Since the police dropped the case, I never get a chance to ask about witnesses. If they didn't, then I had a chance to question them. Yes, it is a big burden off of my shoulder.
Tesla dashcam is not perfect, but it is way better than aftermarket systems IMO in terms of practicality. Sentry mode is difficult to implement and you can never have side cameras. Camera quality is acceptable and it is matter of time for Tesla to fix issues. I agree that given Tesla software engineering, whole experience is subpar.
I was unable to show it to Cops on the monitor (even after v10) and I didn't have USB C adapter with me (first world problems) .
 
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The front camera is somewhat deceiving - I have a version with 0.25 speed and it clears things up. My car did steer right after I was hit. Also, the collision detection did engage in the last moments I think.

@[email protected] how to contact you?
Do you remember what you were doing at the time though? I’ve watched it several times and stepped through it frame by frame and it’s clear the car was merging left, then straightened out and came back to the right. This happens a few frames prior to the motorcycle making contact. Just wondering if there was something that caused you to stop the merge to the left and straighten the car back out.
 
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