Is it Legal to Install a Dash Cam in California? Get the Facts
Dash cams have been all over the news lately, especially in cases involving commercial truck accidents. In a perfect world, you would be able to install a dash cam so that fault would be clear if you are ever in an accident. But is it legal to install these cameras? And can the results be used against someone if they cause an accident? Keep reading to get the answers and then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 if you need a free legal consultation.
The Short Answer is Yes
In the plainest terms possible, yes it is legal to install a dash cam. Dash cams are recording devices that can capture what is going on outside the car. Some only record visual while others record audio too. Some dash cams have even more features, such as the ability to capture a driver’s speed, their braking, whether or not they were wearing their seatbelt, and the steering pattern of the driver.
Legislators have considered the issue and come to the conclusion that allowing drivers to install dash cams could increase the likelihood of safe driving. The hope is that it will lower the overall car accident rate.
The Law Does Have Some Specific Requirements
Though dash cams are legal in California, there are limits. First, a dash cam in a private car must be away from the areas in which airbags will deploy if triggered. Second, the dash cam cannot be more than seven square inches if it is placed in the lower right hand corner of the windshield, and no more than five square inches if installed in the upper center of the windshield.
Additionally, California law requires that if a dash cam records both video and sound, the driver must inform anyone in their vehicle that audio is being recorded. The law in this state requires that the dash cams used are able to store data. The data they store is legally the property of the driver.
Should You Install a Dash Cam?
There are some people who can benefit from a dash cam more than others. For examples, parents may install one to keep an eye on their teenage driver. Others may want a record of what happens if they are stopped by the police. It may be as simple as want to create a record of what happened in the event of a car accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident and have dash cam footage, it may help your case dramatically. It could both show fault and the level of damage. It can also be used to prove pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. Whether you have dash cam footage or not, we recommend you contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now for a free legal consultation.