Why Russians Are in Love With Dashboard Cameras

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As you all know by now, a meteor streaked across the Siberian sky last night, injuring hundreds of people. Not by hitting anyone, mind you, but because its sonic boom shattered windows. As you also probably know, there’s lots and lots of video of the meteor. Is that because Russians are especially vigilant about watching the sky? No. It’s because Russian drivers are really into dashboard cameras. And why is that?

The dashboard camera craze has really taken off in the past couple of years, but for the dullest of reasons: Insurance.

According to Radio Free Europe, the craze began as the cost of cameras dipped and citizens began fighting back against corrupt traffic cops. They quickly also proved their use in proving fault in an accident and capturing viral videos.

Animal New York also notes that the cameras are excellent in catching other drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents. As with everything else, though, what started as a personal safety fad began to produce local celebrities. There are now television shows and entire websites dedicated to capturing the best — and even reviewing — dashboard cam videos from across the country.

So there you have it.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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