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Why So Many Chinese Film the Road When Driving

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLueuP4tn18?rel=0&w=600&h=338]About the cameras that Chinese drivers mount on their dashboards or windshields to film the road ahead.


I was watching a video of a Chinese couple who had a homeless guy try to extort them by pretending to be hit by their car. They were legally relieved from the situation because they happened to have a camera running on the dashboard of their car which was facing out the windshield and filmed the entire incident.

“How could they have possibly of just happened to be filming the road for no apparent reason at that exact moment?” I questioned. They obviously didn’t know the guy was going to jump out in front of them and the coincidence seemed too much for reason.

This was some years ago, but ever since then I’ve began looking inside of cars in China for cameras. A surprising amount have them.

These cameras are either mounted to the dash, are connected to the rear view mirror, or are stuck to the inside of the windshield with suction cups. These cameras have one purpose: to film what happens in the streets in front of the car in order to have some kind of evidence in the case a legal issue ensues.

So if you get in an accident, get ticketed, have a cop try to get a bribe by saying you did something you shouldn’t do, or, as the case may be, a homeless guy try to extort you, then you have video evidence to back yourself up.

“It films what happens in the street in front. It’s for the sake of safety,” the taxi driver in the above video told me.

This is perhaps essential in a country with a legal system that operates on the premise of guilty until proven innocent.

video camera security car in china dashboard car camera
Filed under: China

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3544 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • becida June 18, 2015, 11:14 am

    All those Russian car wreck videos on youtube too.

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    • Wade VagabondJourney.com June 18, 2015, 11:29 am

      Yes, same reason. They’re virtually standard in Russia where they are perhaps more needed than even in China.

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