Welcome to the Testing Ground.
This section of the Speedtrap Bible was opened to the general public in February 2000 and last updated March 1st 2011.
The idea is that we test as much “anti-speedtrap” and related motoring equipment as we can get my hands on.
In Car Video – Smart Witness review
Motorcycle Satellite Navigation Review – Garmin 220 vs Garmin 550 vs Sygic Mobile Maps on Nokia N900
In Car Video Camera Review
Smart Witness Review
Last year I was driving down a country lane and as a car was coming the other way I pulled into a gateway to let it pass. Sadly the other driver was not paying attention and ending up braking and skidding into me. Even though I had a witness in my car the insurance company hovered around a 50/50 blame as the other driver made up another story. Eventually after much hassle I did get it sorted out but it inspired me to look and see if any solutions to this existed.
The conclusion was that the only thing that would prove your case was an incar video. I tried a few offferings from Ebay, but they were hopeless and then I found the Smart Witness Journey Recorder. I have used it now for a few thousand miles (without any crashes) and have found it to be excellent and very cleverly thought out. It is a small video camera about the size of a cotton reel that attaches to your winscreen and runs from the cars 12v supply.
You can either set it to record everything or only turn on when its G sensors think you are about to have a crash. It records the video to an included 2GB SD memory card and depending upon the resolution selected will keep many hours of video. You can set it to overwrite the oldest recordings so it then just keeps running for ever. Now this by itself is quite clever, but it also comes with excellent software. In addition to videoing your journey it also tracks your progress via its built in GPS and attaches this information to the video. You can transfer the video to your PC with an included memory card reader and then play it back. It plays the video in one window and the related location and progress in another window as a map or Google Earth map. It shows GPS measured speed and also the input from the “G” sensors showing acceleration/deceleration and lateral forces as you can see below.
As it also tracks your speed via GPS it could also be of great use if you were falsely accused of speeding as you could look back and see exactly how fast you were going and a have GPS and video evidence to prove it. It also has a format button on it incase you need to wipe the card of all videos.
In addition to all of the mundane reasons for having it, you also have a video record of all of your favorite roads and drives and will no doubt be able to fill YouTube will all sorts of stuff that you encounter.
Overall I have been very inpressed by this and it now is permanently fitted to my car.
If you have an accident and do not have an external witness then its likely that your insurance company will charge you an excess of £200+ when they take the 50/50 blame approach – regardless of what you have to say. You will also lose your no claims discount and your insurance will increase. Considering all of this and having experienced it, I think the Smart Witness is an excellent addition for you and your car.