Is your dashcam legal? Some laws you may not know

Dash > Chauffeur > Is your dashcam legal? Some laws you may not know
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At Dash, we are firm believers in dashboard cameras. Recently we discussed whether all chauffeurs should use dash cams and the end result was an overwhelming yes!

However, when installing a dashboard camera, there are a few things to be aware of, mainly, the limitations of its use abroad. Within Australia, the United Kingdom, it is legal to own and uses a dashboard camera, so long as it does not obstruct the view of the driver. It is legal to film public roads and also share this footage. For example, if you are involved in a collision, you could be asked to hand over your footage to the police or car insurance company.

However, in mainland Europe, the laws and rules surrounding the use of dashcams widely vary from country to country.

Where might my Dash Cam cause an issue?

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as one country you can use your dashcam and in another, you can’t. There are more complex rules between counties about how, when and where you (if at all) can use your camera.

Austria 🇦🇹

Banned – An easier one to start with. If you are found to be in possession of a dashboard camera in Austria (it is not even legal to own one!) and get caught, you will face an eyewatering fine. First-time offenders will receive a €10,000 fine and if you are caught again, it is over double at a fine of €25,000.

Belgium 🇧🇪

Legal (with conditions) – In Belgium, you are able to own and use a dashboard camera but for private use only. This means, if you are involved in a collision, all parties must be made aware about the footage and your intention to share it with the police/insurance company, before you proceed to do so.

France 🇫🇷

Legal (with conditions) – France is a mix between both the UK and Belgium. You are able to film on public roads, without obstruction of the drivers view. However, much like Belgium, it is for private use only. You cannot upload any footage recorded onto the internet and if you are involved in an incident, it must go straight to the police.

Germany 🇩🇪

Legal (with conditions) – Like the UK, if you have a dash cam in Germany, it must not hinder the view of the driver in the vehicle. Germany also has strict privacy laws, so any footage shared must have the faces and number plates of the third parties obscured or blurred.

Luxembourg 🇱🇺

Banned – Similar to Austria, the use and display of a dashboard camera is not permitted. However, it is not illegal to own one in Luxembourg. If you are driving through, you will need to remove your camera from your windscreen and store it away in your boot or glovebox.

Norway 🇳🇴

Legal (with conditions) – An easier one to remember as its laws are near enough exactly the same to Britain. Dash cams are legal for use but it must not restrict the view of the driver.

Portugal 🇵🇹

Banned – Portugal’s laws are very similar to that of Austria. It is both illegal to use and own a dashboard camera in Portugal, so if you are driving through from Spain, leave yours at the border!

Switzerland 🇨🇭

Legal (with heavy conditions) – Switzerland is by far the most complex of all the European countries. They have two principles that you must abide by if using dashboard cameras, the principal of transparency and principal of proportionality.

The principle of transparency means that if you are using a dashcam, it must be obvious what it is and that it is recording to everyone being recorded. Of course, this proves almost impossible as pedestrians and passing motorists would not be able to see this clearly unless stationary and in very close vicinity to the vehicle.

The principle of proportionality means that if a dash cam is recording, it must be only recording important footage relevant for legal purpose, for example, a collision. Again, this proves extremely difficult as the ratio of legally relevant footage verses unimportant footage will most likely be very low.

Based on these extremely strict conditions in Switzerland, it would most likely be easier to leave your dash cam in the glovebox!

Where can I drive with no restrictions?

Luckily, some countries within Europe allow for the use of dashboard cameras. So if you’re driving in any of the countries below, you do not have to worry about removing your dashboard camera beforehand:Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Sweden.

Most European countries are quite strict on their dashboard camera rules. If rules do apply, it is encouraged to check the individual countries laws on dash cams before travelling there. Doing so might save you some hefty fines!

By Alexandra Osowski (Marketing Manager at LCH)  modified by Iqbal for Australian law
LCH is one of the most well-respected providers of luxury cars in the UK. Delivering bespoke hire, replacement and management services for chauffeur and private hire businesses, manufacturers, dealerships and insurance companies.

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