Are Dash Cams Legal?
You can have quite a bit of fun with a dashboard camera in your vehicle, and it will be your witness 24/7, but is it legal, and are dashboard cameras legal in the US or the UK?
Will the authorities pull you over and slap you on the wrist for recording yourself driving?
Will you get a ticket for turning the camera the other way and spying on the traffic that lies ahead of you? Well, the answer to the questions is yes…and no (of which I will explain).
It’s Okay to Use a Dash Cam?
Using a dash cam is 100 percent legal in the UK. The law permits drivers to set up dash cams, there is no restriction on who the camera can capture and record. Therefore, the simple answer to the legality of having a dash camera in the vehicle is yes.
It’s Not Okay to Put the Camera anywhere you want.
However, drivers are not allowed to plant the camera in their spot of choice; well, they can but not in a blatant spot that could cause an accident.
They must be careful not to place the camera on the windshield in a spot that a police officer could consider a dangerous area (i.e. blocking your view).
The Road Traffic Act clearly states that the authorities may find the camera to be an obscurity that is worthy of a careless driving citation (a summons issued by a law enforcement officer to a person violating a traffic law).
The regulations state that no person can place the dash camera more than 4 cm into the arc of the windshield. No part of the camera or its accessories can intrude upon that part of the windshield or come into the “hot zone” more than 1 cm.
Another law that drivers can break with a dash cam is one that is in the Road Vehicles Regulatation. The LED screen on a camera is extremely distracting, and drivers tend to look at the screen when the camera is on. Therefore, a regulation against such behavior is in place.
Recording in the car is almost as bad as using a phone or texting while driving, according to the regulation. Distracted driving causes many accidents, so the authorities want to make sure that they protect the citizens. A person can very well receive a ticket for using a camera in the car if the LED is on.
Just Watch Out for…
- The LED screen of the suction-mounted camera also comes under scrutiny in the law.
- The law says that the screen should not be on if the driver can see it in any way.
- This could provide a visual distraction and is a serious traffic offence.
So if you’re considering purchasing a dash cam, try and opt for a smaller, less distracting screen.