03 Jun 2005, 05:57:09 PM

Reporter: David Richardson

It's a humble Aussie invention taking the world by storm, the ultimate driver watchdog called Drivecam.

"I believe it has the potential to save more lives than airbags and seat belts combined."

Australian inventor Gary Rayner is not idly boasting about his creation. Already 30,000 Drivecams have been sold in the United States, reducing accidents by more than 50% by recording the anatomy of a car crash as it happens.

The camera is mounted just behind the rear vision mirror on the front windscreen. It looks back into the cabin, and ahead towards the road. It acts like a black box recorder for your car, bus, cab or limo but records pictures and sounds.

For anxious parents Drivecam is the ultimate car nanny. It's recording all the time so parents can remove the cameras flashcard, download into their computer and see how their kids have been behaving behind the wheel.

"People like parents or fleet managers or others that are monitoring drivers can see close calls or bad driving behaviour before they turn into accidents and actually counsel them."

But as the boss of Drivecam America found out, the device has also saved companies a fortune in insurance claims.

"If you do get involved in an accident you want to know if you were at fault of some else was. Most of the time people think they are responsible and they're not at fault and the drive cam proves that" says Bruce.

"It takes about 30 days for a major accident to be investigated by an insurance company. With Drivecam that can take that down to a day or two" adds Gary.

The camera is also equipped with a red panic button so it can record anything you see, like a mugging or road rage incident, just about anything. But in Australia it's being examined for our teen driver problem.

"If you've a parent out there who is unsure about the way their son or daughter may be driving or behaving in a motorcar it's great protection and it's a security blanket for the parent as well" says Head of the Stay Safe Committee Paul Gibson. He believes the Aussie invention is one of the best he has ever seen. "Where it's been tried there's been a 30% reduction in deaths, a 30% reductions in accidents and a 30% reduction in hospitalization."

Gary Rayner was forced to start selling Drivecam in America but hopes to introduce into Australia soon. It sells for about $1,500 and has already been picked up by 400 American companies who download from the cameras to tell how their drivers perform.

"The bottom line is it absolutely saves lives" says Gary.

For more information on Drivecam, please visit their website: