Vehicle telematics solutions introduce breakthrough innovations in the logistics and transportation industry, helping businesses ditch manual processes and provide efficient services through digitised systems. Likewise, dash cameras are a great tool to keep track of journeys and assist you in abstruse situations like accidents and fraud.
Nevertheless, a dual-facing dash camera offers extra details and knowledge when needed. This is because dual-facing dash cams provide video footage on the road and inside the vehicle during a trip, helping you keep an eye on internal and external conditions. Even courts accept dash camera footage as solid evidence because Federal and state courts consider audio and video footage captured by cameras as discoverable information in trials and court proceedings.
But, many drivers flinch at the idea of dash cameras as they think it invades their privacy. This can be true for long-haul truck drivers as they typically eat and sleep in trucks, and with a dash camera installed, they might feel uncomfortable and under the pressure of being watched all time.
This is also creating a lot of controversy over whether installing dash cams are legal. Do you have the same question? Let’s pop the bubble!
Are Dash Cams Legal?
Dual-facing dash cams are gradually growing in importance across countries; however, each country has its set of laws that govern their use. In the UK, installing and using a dash camera is entirely legal, and drivers do not have to apply for special permissions to use them on UK roads. It is a simple plug-and-play!
However, the use of dash cameras in the US may vary as per different state laws. Hence, fleet managers have to ensure that they comply with state laws in case of fleets in different geographical areas.
Dash cams are also legal in Europe, except for Portugal and Austria. Earlier, Germany showed reluctance around using dash cameras, but lately, the laws have changed, making installing and using dash cameras legal.
Since dash cams are legal to use, many motorists in the UK prefer to buy one because of its unparalleled benefits. You can save yourself and protect your innocence from blame in an accident, capture the identity of car criminals and thieves, keep scammers and fraudsters at bay, and get attractive insurance premiums.
North Wales Police Commissioner Arfon Jones insists that more and more people should use dash cams to help law enforcement agencies curb dangerous driving behaviour and reduce accidents and thefts.
Restrictions Around Dual-facing Dash Cams
While dash cams are legal to use, there are certain restrictions around how to deploy and use them. Firstly, you need to install the camera in such a way that it does not obstruct the view of the driver. Typically people attach the dash camera on the windshield or dashboard but ensure that it is within five to seven inches on the middle or the driver’s side of the windshield. Likewise, don’t attach the camera within the airbag zone, as it won’t be of any value during accidents when airbags open up.
However, every state has different laws around it as well. For example, the District of Columbia will not consider dash cams legal if you equip them on your windshield, but Indiana states that dash cams can be installed if it is not larger than 4 inches and deployed in the bottom corner on the passenger side of the windshield.
Even The Highway Code mentions that obstructions like dash cams or smartphones should not be beyond 40mm into the area whisked by the windscreen wiper blades. If police authorities identify that the dash camera is not installed safely, you can be levied with heavy fines and penalties, and video footage through the dash camera is regarded as inadmissible in court.
Further, dual-facing dash cameras are illegal if you turn the audio recorder on, recording people’s conversations without their knowledge and consent. If someone travelling in your car is unaware of a dash camera recording footage, it can result in a severe breach of privacy. This is critical for Uber and taxi drivers as passengers can file a complaint of privacy breach, and drivers may face legal consequences.
Drivers should inform each passenger about the presence of a dash cam in the vehicle. Also, turn off audio recording so that officials cannot penalise you for illegal surveillance. In fact, California has made it mandatory for drivers to take the consent of all passengers to record legally. Moreover, since controversies and regulations around data privacy are growing, it is better to avoid getting caught in such data scandals.
Promote Safer Driving
Now that you know it is completely legal, it is the right time to equip your vehicle with a dual-facing dash cam. These devices encourage safer driving, provide an extra layer of protection, offer lower insurance premiums, and help you save money.