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This article was published 12/1/2016 (2366 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Five people were taken to hospital in stable condition after a noon-hour crash captured by a dashboard camera in West Kildonan Tuesday.
Police responded to the two-vehicle crash just after 12:30 p.m. at Chief Peguis Trail and Main Street, a spokeswoman said.
Police had no other details to release Tuesday afternoon, but a dash-camera video of the crash captured by a witness shows a southbound minivan was stopped at a red light at the intersection when a southbound truck came barrelling from behind and rear-ended the van, pushing it toward oncoming traffic in the intersection.
Kristin Bibik was also stopped at the red light, headed southbound on Main Street, when her dash camera recorded the crash. She said the light had been red for "at least 10 seconds," and all of the other southbound drivers were stopped when the pickup truck rear-ended the minivan, braking immediately before the crash.
"It happens so fast, you don’t have time to even really honk or warn anybody. There’s nothing you can do. You just feel helpless," said Bibik, who works as a private investigator. She said she offered the footage to Winnipeg police but that they redirected her to Manitoba Public Insurance.
As part of their at-fault investigations into traffic crashes, MPI adjusters are now more likely to review video footage from dashboard cameras, as well as from security cameras on nearby buildings or transit buses, MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said.
"I wouldn’t say it’s frequent, but it’s certainly increased over the last number of years as the popularity of dash cameras (has increased). They’re more in the marketplace, people are aware of them now, so 10 years ago we wouldn’t have heard of it, but in the last couple of years we’re certainly seeing more being presented to our adjusters," Smiley said.
MPI isn’t going so far as to encourage drivers to use dashboard cameras in their vehicles, but if they are involved in a crash, they should always seek out independent witnesses – who may, as in this case, have video to share, Smiley said.
Dashboard cameras are relatively inexpensive – roughly $50 to $150, depending on the model – and are designed to be easy to use. Staff at local electronics stores say the cameras have become more highly requested by customers.
"Over the course of the last year, it’s been more popular," said Kelly Armstrong, manager of Visions Electronics on St. James Street.
"It’s an added security benefit, I think, to them. It’s just one more step – it’s not a dispute with MPI if you have video of it."
Matthew Beaque, a photo and electronics specialist at London Drugs in St. Vital, said the cameras have been selling steadily since the store stocked a wider variety of new models a few months ago.
"I can see them becoming pretty popular," he said.
Katie May is a general-assignment reporter for the Free Press.