Interesting -- "Why almost everyone in Russia has a dash cam":
How is it possible that a dozen different motorists around the Russian city of Chelyabinsk were able to capture video of a massive meteor flying through the sky? Because almost everyone in Russia has a dash-mounted video camera in their car.
The sheer size of the country, combined with lax — and often corrupt — law enforcement, and a legal system that rarely favors first-hand accounts of traffic collisions has made dash cams all but a requirement for motorists.
“You can get into your car without your pants on, but never get into a car without a dash cam,” Aleksei Dozorov, a motorists’ rights activist in Russia told Radio Free Europe last year.
Not a bad idea here, either, it occurred to me. I mean, the cops all have them, so any encounter you have with them is going into their video system; having a recording from our point of view seems like a good self-defense policy. And the way the world is going, it's not outrageous to think about having a walk-around video system, either (you can get a camera in a pen for your shirt pocket really cheap). You say I did what? Well, let's just check out the video.
It's been getting harder and harder to find shirts with pockets for te last couple of decades. And many people already have videocameras in their pants pockets. They're called cell phones.
A dashcam could retail for $10. Run a wire to the car's electrical harness, and plug in a USB memory stick. Eveybody's got small USB memory sticks. Program the cam to do an endless loop. When you see smething, yank out that memory stick (so you can take it in the house and save it to your computer) and grap the spare memory stick out of the glove box and plug it into the camera.
I'd stick one in the rear window as well, to capture parking lot damages. I'd probably use really big memory sticks as well, so if I got hit at 5:30, it wouldn't have overwritten the images when I see the damage the next morning.
Dashcams would make a nice advertising specialty for insurance agents to give away. "Use this, and he other guy has to pay for the damages instead of your insurance going up!"