Is Your Dash Cam Legal?
Car dash cams are being increasingly popular. Research carried out by Aviva found that more than 1 in 4 drivers currently use a dash cam on UK roads. Of the drivers who have a dash cam installed, almost 3 in 4 believe that other drivers should have them.
A dash cam in your car could be compared to having an eye witness 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Potentially this could protect you against fraudulent claims for compensation from an accident that was not your fault. However, having a dash cam does not automatically decrease your insurance premiums although in some instance providers do take this into consideration. If you witness an accident you can submit the recording to the police via the National Dash Cam Safety Portal. In 2015 footage used in a case did result in a prison sentence.
However, dash cam footage can also be used against you. There are things to be aware of to ensure that you are also adhering to the law. The obvious point is that a camera must be installed correctly to ensure that it is strategically placed and with no obstructive wires while you drive. Using a mobile phone, speeding and going through red lights will all be recorded and may be summoned by the police as evidence of your own careless driving. Making changes to the dash cam recording or refusing to provide it could be classed as tampering with evidence.
It is also worth noting the privacy of others. It is a common courtesy to make passengers in your car aware of the presence of a camera and if the vehicle is used for business there could be legal implications if you do not.
A final ward of caution. If you plan to use your dash cam abroad it is definitely worth checking ahead. In some countries dash cams are illegal, which includes Austria where drivers could be fined £9,000 if caught using a dash cam with fines of up to £22,000 for repeat offences.
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