The answer to the original question, are dash cams legal in Massachusetts, is that dashcams are legal in Massachusetts under most circumstances.
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The recording of video is legal because the dashcam records outside where there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Also in Massachusetts it’s legal to record a police officer as the officer conducts his duties in public. In other words, a driver can record a traffic stop or an arrest with a dashcam without having to inform the police officer that a recording is taking place.
Now we’ve gotten into dashcam legality in MA, here’s what a dash cam is. It’s a small device that records video of what happens around the vehicle. A dash cam is typically placed on a vehicle’s dashboard, although it could be placed in other parts of the vehicle.
A dashcam usually records to a portable storage device such as an SD memory card, on which new data is recorded over the oldest data.
Most dashcams are designed to be in on whenever the vehicle is being driven, however, there are some models that have a feature to record while the vehicle is parked.
Since using a dashcam is legal, the footage from the dashcam can be helpful in several ways. If the vehicle’s owner is in a car accident, the footage can be used to show the insurance company who is at fault. The footage can also be admitted as evidence in court.
Drivers need to be aware that since dashcam recordings are evidence, the owner of the dashcam cannot legally destroy the footage if it shows that he or she caused the accident.
[box type=”info”] However, drivers must take care to use dashboard cameras in a legal manner because some dash cams have features that are not legal in Massachusetts. For example, while all states forbid substantially obscuring a driver’s vision through the windshield, Massachusetts law I-XIV-90-9D specifically prohibits nontransparent windshield mounts. This means to be legal a dashcam cannot be attached to the windshield. [/box]
Secondly, Massachusetts has strict wiretapping laws that mandate that all parties consent to the recording of a conversation.
Therefore, if the dashboard camera can record audio inside the vehicle, the driver must either turn the audio recording feature off or get consent from the vehicle’s passengers to record what’s said in the vehicle.
In summary, the short answer to the question, are dash cams legal in MA, is yes.