Your Guide to Dash Cam Legalities
Dash cams have enjoyed a growing popularity over recent years, thanks to their ability to settle disputes and collect valuable footage for legal use.
When using a dash cam, you need to stay within the law to avoid fines and even imprisonment. Luckily, it’s easy to use dash cams safely and legally – so long as you brush up on your dash cam laws.
In this article, we’ll take you through some of the most commonly asked questions about dash cams so you can use them to your full benefit without risking any trouble.
What are the installation requirements?
It is completely legal in the UK to fit a dash cam to your car, and also legal to use that dash cam to film public roads. However, you need to be careful about exactly where you place it.
The most recommended place for the dash cam to be fitted is at the top of the windscreen. Make sure that it is tucked out of the way of your field of view, and ensure that no wires are dangling in the way, either. If the police consider your dash cam or any wiring to be obstructing your view, they could fine you.
Can you film others with a dash cam?
It is legal to film other road users on public roads and to share this footage.
For many people, a big draw of installing a dash cam is to protect themselves against insurance fraud claims or to prove their innocence during a road traffic incident. Using the footage on a dash cam can help motorists to gather evidence to present to their insurance company or to police about who is at fault in an accident – this helps save money and hassle for fleets and taxi firms in particular.
If you operate a taxi, you are legally obliged to inform passengers of the presence of a dashcam and also to mute the sound, as recording voices could be a breach of privacy.
Can the police use footage from my dashcam?
If the police suspect that you have broken the law while in your car, they have the right to seize footage from your dash cam and use it as evidence in a case against you. And be aware – attempting to delete the footage prior will be considered tampering with the evidence.
What are the dash cam legalities for company vehicle fleets?
In 2018, new GDPR laws came into force. They were introduced to help protect the personal information of individuals and to ensure companies are not obtaining, storing or using this personal data in an illegal manner. Therefore it’s important you understand employee and employer rights in terms of GDPR when it comes to dash cams. As an example, capturing an image of a person can be used to identify them – so businesses need to be careful to observe the rules.
- One of the ways companies could avoid this is by writing a dash cam policy, which clearly sets out the purpose of collecting imagery via the dash cam, what it will be used for and how long it will be stored for
- Companies may also wish to place notices on fleet vehicles
- All recordings should be stored securely and only accessed or interacted with by those trained in data protection laws
- Companies may also wish to carry out a Data Protection Impact Assessment
This is not a complete account of the rules surrounding this, so ensure that you investigate this yourself more exhaustively to avoid being caught out.
What are the rules on international dash cam usage?
While dash cams are legal in the UK to use, in some parts of the world they are not – or they may have more stringent rules surrounding their use and the sharing of footage afterwards. For example, Spain allows unrestricted recording & sharing, whereas in France and Belgium you can only use dash cams for private use. In places like Portugal, Austria and some other countries it’s completely illegal. Therefore, it’s essential to research the dash cam laws of a specific country before utilising your car dash cam there. Failure to do so could result in you being fined or even imprisoned in extreme cases.
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