Dash cams and the law
With the popularity of dash cams on the rise, we thought it necessary to outline the benefits and potential drawbacks of using these devices for you.
Dash cams are generally purchased by drivers who see them as a way to protect themselves should they be accused of a driving offence. However, justice is a two-way street and there are many potential pitfalls that need consideration before you go ahead and install a dash cam.
Any driver in the UK can lawfully install a dash cam in their vehicle. Be aware though, should your vehicle be involved in an incident, the police have a right to your footage. It is an offence to delete any footage that could incriminate you or to tamper with your device after an incident. A dash cam must also be correctly installed. You can get into trouble if you misuse footage that is captured by a dash cam that has been installed illegally. Furthermore, any footage beneficial to you would be inadmissible in court. You must also make sure the dash cam does not obstruct the driver’s view or inhibit their safe operation of the vehicle in any way.
Privacy obligations of a dash cam user
As a dash cam user, you have certain obligations that you need to fulfil. Firstly, if you operate a shared vehicle you must inform the other person that a dash cam has been installed. Many dash cams record audio and video of the inside of the vehicle, you cannot do this without the consent of all vehicle users. Furthermore, if you operate a private hire vehicle you must inform all passengers of the presence of the dash cam. Failure to do this could lead to your own prosecution.
Can they be used abroad?
Always check the driving laws of the countries you are planning to drive through as they can vary significantly from place to place. In the UK, dash cam use is widely accepted with little restrictions, however, this certainly isn’t the case across Europe and the rest of the world.
The future of the dash cam
A lot of drivers out there find the use of dash cams a gross intrusion of privacy and this is compounded by the fact that they are largely unregulated in the UK. Nevertheless, dash cams seem here to stay. We may, however, see the regulations tightened up as the popularity of dash cams continues to rise.
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