Why do so many Russians have dashboard cams?

World -

YouTube videos went viral Feb. 15 showing a meteor crashing into Russia. The videos all have a similar conspicuous angle, begging the question - why do so many Russians have dashboard cams?

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Copyright 2014 Reuters
Copyright 2014 Reuters
Dashboard-mounted cameras are common in Russia, where they are seen as a form of protection against insurance fraud and a corrupt police force. In a country ranked <a href="http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">133rd on Transparency International's corruption index</a> (in which 1 is least corrupt), police have been known to crash into drivers to extort money from them. Source: f.cl.ly

Dashboard-mounted cameras are common in Russia, where they are seen as a form of protection against insurance fraud and a corrupt police force. In a country ranked 133rd on Transparency International's corruption index (in which 1 is least corrupt), police have been known to crash into drivers to extort money from them.

Cameras have caught some bizzare incidents on Russian roads, much to the delight of YouTube viewers. Footage from dozens of dashboard cameras were uploaded after <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90Omh7_I8vI" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">a meteor entered the sky</a> over the Ural city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Cameras have caught some bizzare incidents on Russian roads, much to the delight of YouTube viewers. Footage from dozens of dashboard cameras were uploaded after a meteor entered the sky over the Ural city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15.

In the Russian legal system, verbal evidence is not permissible in road accident disputes, something exploited by criminal gangs who will run drivers off the road and file false insurance claims against them.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpyLMoC6Rgw" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">One video</a> posted to LiveLeak and YouTube shows a driver firing off an AK-47 before an SUV slams another car off the road. Source: f.cl.ly

One video posted to LiveLeak and YouTube shows a driver firing off an AK-47 before an SUV slams another car off the road.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvA0nSXtVJE" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In a video uploaded in December</a>, a truck carrying cows tips over, sending its bovine passengers spilling onto the road. Fortunately none of the cows were seriously harmed. Source: f.cl.ly

In a video uploaded in December, a truck carrying cows tips over, sending its bovine passengers spilling onto the road. Fortunately none of the cows were seriously harmed.

Dashboard cameras have caught more than just road incidents. In December 2012, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJJicjumigA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">a driver captured a plane crash</a> in Moscow that killed 4 people. Source: f.cl.ly

Dashboard cameras have caught more than just road incidents. In December 2012, a driver captured a plane crash in Moscow that killed 4 people.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iadw3GQgQbg#t=12" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Video of a suspected suicide bomb explosion</a> Oct. 21 was captured on a dashboard camera by a motorist behind the bus. At least six people aboard the bus died in the blast in the southern city of Volgograd. Copyright 2014 Reuters

Video of a suspected suicide bomb explosion Oct. 21 was captured on a dashboard camera by a motorist behind the bus. At least six people aboard the bus died in the blast in the southern city of Volgograd.

"There is footage from the dashboard camera and the opposition has a copy of this… You can see what car it is, a Porsche Cayenne. You can see the licence plate. You can see the faces of the villains. You can see what they did and how they did it, not just from the dashboard camera." Oleh Tyahnybok, Svoboda Party leader

The beating of activist reporter Tetyana Chornovil was recorded by her dashboard camera on Dec. 24. Ukrainian authorities say they have apprehended two suspects and are looking for a third.

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