A dashcam is an onboard camera, fixed to either the front or rear of a vehicle to take continuous recordings during journeys.
The majority of dashcam users have a front facing camera affixed to the dashboard of their car. This is so it records the road ahead during journeys, and will record incidents and accidents, and in particular, maybe used to ascertain and apportion blame if disputes arise.
This can be especially useful to ensure drivers do not take the blame and associated costs for an incident that was not their fault. The recorded evidence can be used in court, and will also help to identify a vehicle if it fails to stop at the scene of an accident.
You can use recorded evidence to report unsafe, dangerous or reckless driving. If you think someone is driving under the influence of drink or drugs, you can also submit your evidence directly to the police.
You may also happen upon a more serious criminal incident, such as moped mugging, a hit and run, road rage, deliberate acts of violence or vehicle vandalism.
If you feel that your recording would be of interest to the police you can use the National Dash Cam Safety Portal (NDSP) to submit your evidence. You will not need to relinquish your dashcam to the authorities, they will simply need a copy of your recording which can be easily uploaded via their website. Further details of the implications of reporting unsafe driving or other incidents are given in full on the NDSP website.
Should you be stopped by the police, you can use your dashcam footage to check your speed limit or driving style, if this is being investigated. Beware not to delete evidence though, even if it can be used against you, as this is a criminal offence.
Exercise caution when using a Dashcam
Firstly, it’s important to check when installing your dashcam, that it is fixed responsibly in a position that does not obscure your view while driving. If it is not positioned correctly, insurers and the courts will not accept your video recording as admissible evidence.
It is not legal to record activity taking place on private land. You must ensure that your camera is turned off if it is on or facing private property.
Do not publish footage of your recording onto social media. The Crown Prosecution Service advise against it as it may adversely affect any subsequent proceedings, and it is also recommended in the interests of your personal privacy and safety.
Most dashcams record sound within the vehicle. You can find yourself in breach of privacy if other occupants of the vehicle are unaware they are being recorded. It is your responsibility to let them know, including if you are a taxi driver – all passengers must be made aware – it’s the law.
If travelling abroad, check the laws in the countries you are visiting as they may have different privacy laws that prevent or restrict use of dashcams.
Choosing and fitting your dashcam
We advise using a reputable provider to fit your dashcam for you, to ensure it is positioned correctly and is not in breach of safety laws. We would be happy to advise on the best dashcam for your vehicle and intended use, please call us or drop into our store for a friendly, helpful chat.