A New York man’s car was struck by the van of a reckless customs officer eager to pin the blame elsewhere, but luckily for the man, his recently-installed dashboard camera captured the whole incident on video and proved the cop had been a bad driver — and a worse liar.
The man, whose last name has been withheld out of respect for his privacy, told The Daily Caller that his brand new dashboard camera potentially saved him millions of dollars, as well as a lifetime of guilt.
“I saved myself millions, potentially, in lawsuits,” Edward told TheDC in an exclusive interview. “At a minimum, I saved my insurance company millions of dollars.” (RELATED: WATCH THIS: Secret video proves cop lied about horrific accident)
No one was seriously injured in the crash — though the damages to both vehicles were extensive — but Edward said that had anyone died he would have spent the rest of his life feeling guilty, if not for video footage clearly implicating the other driver as the responsible party.
Edward writes about technology for dealspin.com under the moniker “Ted,” and had recently reviewed and installed the Timetec Roadhawk Dashboard Camera in his vehicle. He had no idea it would come in handy so quickly.
“The proof is in the pudding,” said Edward.
Edward had a green light and drove through an intersection near John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. On the other side of the road, a border and customs officer made an illegal left turn across the intersection and crashed his van into Edward’s car.
The cop had his flashing lights on, which caused other cars on Edward’s side of the road to slow down and stop, wrongly thinking his was an emergency vehicle. But Edward was in the right-most lane, and couldn’t see the van, which was obscured by the stopped cars.
The cop had a red light, and left turns are prohibited at the intersection at all times. But thinking that all oncoming traffic was yielding to him anyway, the cop made his turn.
At first, Edward was dazed and wasn’t sure what had happened. He immediately called 911 and asked dispatch to send the regular New York City traffic police. While he waited, the cop got out of his van and began shouting at him–accusing him of running a red light.
“And then the guy is berating me, and even off-camera, ‘You went through a red light,’” recalled Edward. “It’s the intimidation factor.”
After returning home, Edward reviewed the footage and verified what his gut had told him: his light was green.
He also found out that the border cop worked in the customs department at JFK, meaning that he had no right to use emergency lights, which are reserved for regular police officers and firemen, according to Edward.
“Not only do they not have authority on NYC streets, I don’t believe they have authority within JFK airport,” he said. “I think they only have authority within the international arrivals building.”
None of this stopped the cop from filing a false report about the incident in which he claimed that Edward ran a red light. But Edward said that his insurance company believes he clearly had the right of way.
This was not Edward’s first unfavorable interaction with law enforcement officers engaged in questionable tactics. But it served as a great reminder that responsible citizens should keep cool, remember their rights and have a camera handy during such situations. (RELATED: INFOGRAPHIC: This is how you handle the cops)