Are dash cams legal in Massachusetts

How you can use a car camera

Every day, Mr. Schmitt drives to work at a dangerous intersection. A few weeks ago a car drove into his car while turning at this intersection. However, since the question of guilt could not be clarified exactly, he has one Dashcam and this attached to the windshield of his car. When another car drives into his car that has just been repaired, Mr. Schmitt feels confident that he can prove his innocence with the help of his dashcam recording. But the admission in court is at all admissible as evidence? Or did Mr. Schmitt even criminalize himself with the dashcam recording? We explain the legal situation in Germany to you.

A dashcam - too Dash cam - is a small car camera that is mounted on the dashboard or, like a navigation device, on the inside of the car's windshield. Its name is made up of the English words "dashboard" and "camera". Or maybe you know them by that name Russian camera. In Russia it is hard to imagine a car without it and is almost part of the standard equipment of a vehicle.

This is how the dashcam works

When the car is ignited, the car camera switches on and off automatically. Most models have a battery life of up to an hour. If the battery is empty, you can recharge it using the cigarette lighter. Most mini car cameras have a monitor through which you can see the image section of the recording and adjust it individually.

Danger: To avoid serious accidents, you should use the Never operate the car camera while driving. If you want to make settings, do so before driving or stop in a parking lot.

If you drive off with the car, the dashboard camera continuously records the traffic in front of you saves the recordings in small sections on a memory card. Their format and size depend on the model. Most memory cards in SD / SDHC and Micro SD formats up to 32 GB or 64 GB are supported.

What is the car camera good for?

It all depends on what you want to use it for. As a driver, you can have the following reasons for using a dashcam:

  • For private purposes, e.g. B. for a vacation video
  • To control your own driving style, e.g. B. by an integrated approach warning or lane assistant
  • As evidence of your own innocence in a traffic accident

Many dashcam users, like Mr. Schmitt, see the latter as the greatest advantage of using a dashcam. Does your camera have a Parking mode, it could also protect you from vandalism.

However, the small camera can not only relieve you as a dashcam user, but also burden you - if you e.g. B. reveals that you are to blame for a traffic accident.

Car cameras abroad

So far there are only a few European countries that have a legal regulation for the use of so-called dashcams.

By the way: do you have one? Breakdown or accident at home or abroad, you will receive direct help on site with the vehicle insurance cover from AXA. Whether your car needs to be towed, you need a rental car or you have been sick or injured as a result of an accident, AXA is always at your side.

Dashcams: allowed or forbidden?

The use of dashcams in public traffic in Germany has long been controversial. Dashcam videos were previously not permitted in accident processes. However, there was no legal regulation. That has Federal Court of Justice on May 15, 2018 now changed.

Verdict: Dashcams in Germany

in the BGH judgment it was decided that Dashcam recordings as evidence can be used in the accident process. However, the recordings violate data protection regulations, such as B. the right to Informational self-determination as well as general personal rights. Lawyer Frank W. Stroot explains: “With the ruling, the BGH said goodbye to generally prohibiting the use of dashcam recordings. However, he left open what is now legally permissible ”.

The Attaching a car camera is now basically allowed. Permanent filming and storage of public road traffic without any cause, however, remains prohibited as it violates data protection (Art. 6 GDPR, § 4 BDSG). The use of a dashcam in public spaces is therefore only permitted within narrow limits.

What am I allowed to film?

You can use the car camera if you have one specific occasion, such as a traffic accident. Does that mean you have to switch on the camera quickly before an accident? No, because certain features of the dash cam can help you with this. When buying a mini car camera, look out for the following features:

  • Loop function
  • G-sensor
  • GPS
  • Date and time recording

The loop function helps not to be saved permanently. This feature saves the material in small clips and in an endless loop. If the SD card is full, the oldest film sequence will be overwritten. The positive side effect: You always have enough storage space available.

So that the recording is not overwritten by a crash, your dashcam needs one Accelerometer, the so-called G-sensor. This recognizes a collision and severe deceleration and perceives this as a dangerous situation. The mini camera then automatically saves this video sequence.

The functions of the GPS and the time recording are used to determine the location of the accident as well as the date and time.
"As a result, this means that the existing technical possibilities to protect the personal rights of third parties must also be used," said legal expert Stroot.

Some dash cam models also have Motion sensors installed. The car cam only switches on automatically when the car moves or in front of the lens. This option would be very useful for vandalism on the parked car. So far, however, the legal situation for using the parking mode has not yet been precisely clarified. (As of 10/2018)

Voice control,
Collision warning,
Lane Assistant,
Speed ​​camera warning,
Time lapse mode,
Photo function,
Parking mode (possible),
WiFi, microphone

Time lapse mode,
Parking mode,
Night mode,

Loudspeaker (with voice instructions),
Parking mode (possible),
Night mode,

All statements without guarantee. For detailed information, please contact the respective manufacturer.

How can I use my dashcam in the event of an accident?

The more technically possible features the car cam has, the more likely it is that the recording can be used as evidence in an accident process. "Ultimately, however, it remains an individual judicial decision whether the use of the dashcam is already illegal or not," explains legal expert Stroot. "Should it be admissible, there would be no problems with the use of evidence."

Since Mr. Schmitt cannot feel safe despite his dashcam recording, it is all the more important to have reliable car insurance. Whether an accident was caused by someone else or you, AXA's affordable car insurance is always at your side. It covers the costs incurred in the event of material and personal damage.

Can I post the dashcam video on the internet?

Did you record your road trip for yourself with the car cam, but now you want to put the video on the Internet? Before you do that, here are some things to look out for: Get this Consent of every person to be seen and every owner of the cars with recognizable license plates. Because, like you, they have the right to their own image. Publication of the video without her consent "would be a clear violation of personal rights," explains Stroot. If you have no consent, you are on the safe side of simply not publishing the video.

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