Dash cams are completely cool gadgets. They not only offer spectacular recording of your road travels but can also serve as independent eyewitnesses on the roads. And they are rapidly gaining popularity in both the UK and the US.
As cool as they are, there are some countries in the world where they are considered illegal and should never be used. Using dash board cams in these countries can cause you to face a substantial fine or worse, get a jail term. There are certain rules around how one can use their dash cams just like there are rules around places you can or cannot capture photos and videos.
As a dashcam owner, you need to be aware the footage you captured can be used against you. The rules surrounding dashcam usage however vary from place to place and from country to country.
The key questions are: which countries consider dash cams illegal and why are they considered this way in the first place? The article below digs deeper into this, to offer you insights on countries you should never carry a dashcam with you while visiting.
Countries where dash cams are restricted.
Countries like Malta, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands allow people to use their dash camera systems without any restrictions. But in other countries like France and Belgium, the usage of dash cams is restricted to private purposes only. In other countries like Germany, it is illegal to share the video footages you recorded on social media unless you have obscured faces and license plates. In other countries like Portugal and Austria, using dashcams is completely banned. If you are repeatedly found overriding this law in Austria, you could be charged with hefty five-figure fines.
Whichever country you find yourself driving in, it is important to make sure you obey the laws on dash cameras. Many countries are still hesitant to adopt these amazing in-vehicle recording devices. And this is mostly done to protect and respect privacy and safety laws.
Usage of Dash Cameras in Europe
The usage of dash cams in Europe is very diverse. Europe owns half of the global market share of dashcam technologies. But still, many of Europe’s nations have banned the usage of the device. In Russia for example, people use dash cameras in their private vehicles because of high rates of accidents, unsafe roads, and police corruption. Whereas in Austria, Luxembourg, and Portugal, usage of recording devices such as dash cams in the public has been declared illegal.
The biggest challenge Europe faces with dash cams is overcoming privacy infringement. Belgium and France have legalized its usage only in private spaces while preventing people from uploading the footage on social media. Germany on the other hand has passed a law that allows dash cam recordings to be used as pieces of evidence in courts. It however maintains sensitive details like number plates or facial recognitions should be presented in an obscured form for the sake of privacy.
In the UK and Spain, dash cams are completely legal. These are the countries that have the greatest dash cam market potential in Europe. Their only rule is that the dashcam should not interfere with the driver’s vision of the road ahead. Other countries in Europe where dash cams are legal include, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta, Denmark, and Serbia. The laws surrounding the usage of dash cams still vary with every country.
Usage of Dash cameras in Asia.
In the coming years, Asia is likely to be among the leading continent in dashcam usage. Some key Asian countries like China, Taiwan, and South Korea host most of the Dash Cam manufacturers. China happens to be the largest automobile market globally, their potential for dashcam usage is great since as they produce more cars, they are likely to require more dash cameras for them! It is no doubt they hold the largest market share in Asia. Countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore have problems like fraud and road safety. They thus use dash cams to better protect themselves.
Dashcams in Japan are mainly used for commercial purposes. Dash cams are mainly deployed in car rentals, taxis and are also used by the police. They monitor drivers while enhancing the efficiency of their services.
Usage of Dash Cams in North America
Dashcams have been popularly used in Canada and the United States. These countries use dash cams both for commercial and personal uses. America has leading ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber, industries that are more likely to employ the use of dash cams in their activities. Both Canada and America have different laws governing how dash cams can be used.
The laws also depend on the different provinces. States like Colorado and California allow drivers to mount their dash cams on windshields while other states like Texas and New York forbid them to be placed on the windshield. Recording videos is not illegal in the United States but precaution should be exercised such that private conversations are not picked up.
The demand for a dashcam in the African market is predicted to increase since many more people are now buying cars. In Africa, the South African market has the fastest growing demand for dash cams. There is also the presence of a large number of dashcam manufacturers in both Africa and the Middle East.
Despite all these challenges and laws that come with using dashcams, they are simply amazing and can protect both the driver and passengers from road irregularities like bumps, accidents, etc. They are generally powerful tools and are with time, growing in popularity. It is however important to avoid obscuring your field of vision with the dashcam while driving.
And while using a vehicle that is shared with others, for example, a company car, it is essential to let all the other users know there is a dashcam they should be aware of. This is because dash cams can record sound which can interfere with their privacy.