Are Dash Cams Legal: What you should know about Dash Cam legality
Dash cams have become a significant feature in maximum vehicles. It is no longer just a trend that car owners want to install into their respective drives. But, it is an important device to keep you and your vehicle safe.
Dash cams can help track down drivers who escape after bumping your car and provide proof of your side of the story in a car accident. Also, these can be used in the resolution of court cases and even insurance scams.
But, the question is, are dash cams legal?
What will you do with your footage or where and when can you use it?
The legality of dash cams depends on where you live, what type of camera you have, and what you are using it for.
In this article, we will cover everything you must know about using a dash cam securely.
Are Dash Cams Legal?
Dashcam legality differs around the world. Different countries have their own views on whether to consider dash cams legal or not.
For example, most of the states in the US consider it legal to have dash cams installed on vehicles. But, they will have to address a few issues about electronic surveillance and vision difficulties.
In the United Kingdom, it is completely legal to have dash cams in vehicles.
Some countries in continental Europe allow dash cams, but put particular limitations in the way the tool is to be placed and used.
Furthermore, in Switzerland, dash cams are considered illegal because of their extremely strict electronic surveillance laws.
Australians, for their part, can get the complete benefits of having dash cams in their vehicles as their government believes such devices to be perfectly legal.
Can You Use Dash Cam When You Drive Abroad?
Various countries have various laws on the use of dash cams. Therefore, the issue is complicated when it comes to driving abroad.
In some countries, there are limitations on dash cams or the video footage you record using one. This is normally due to privacy laws that restrain video or image capture of members of the public without their permission.
Hence, before driving anywhere with your car, understand the local laws and make sure that you are obedient.
Can You Share Dash Cam Footage Online?
Absolutely. Dash cam footage can be shared online. There is a growing trend to do this. However, you must have a valid reason for sharing the footage online.
Footage can also be handed over to the police or insurance companies for the compensation of obtaining a claim or providing the proof. Also, police can ask for your footage and use it against you if it’s noticed that you were responsible for an accident.
Moreover, if confronted by the police and inquired for your footage, don’t delete it. Destroying the proof is a severe crime. In extreme cases, the police can grab your recording device if they feel that the evidence is destroyed or removed.
Inform Passengers About the Dashcam
If you are traveling alone, then there is absolutely no problem. But, if you share your vehicle as a part of a company scheme or you have passengers with you, you must inform them that you have a dashcam installed.
This is because dashcam has a built-in mic. The mic records the conversation between the passengers and saves the audio. Also, some of the dashcams even video record the inside of the vehicle.
And, if the passengers are unaware that they are being recorded, it is a severe crime of privacy.
There are two best practices to avoid these legal issues:
- Dashcam owners should inform people about the dashcam installed in their vehicle
- Buy cameras that can turn off or deactivate audio recording functionality
The Legality of Obstructed Views
Another important legal point is view obstruction. It’s illegal for a driver to obstruct their windshield with viewing obstacles.
This is an important note because a lot of rules put restrictions on exactly how much of a windshield can be covered by devices such as GPS navigation systems and dash cameras.
The general rule of thumb is that if your dash camera covers more than a 5-inch square on the driver’s side or a 7-inch square on the passenger’s side, you could be inviting disaster. Of course, there are strict restrictions in some areas and others don’t have any kind of windshield obscuring restrictions in the records.
Therefore, it’s an excellent plan to check the particular law or local code in your area to make sure that everything lines up.