Are Dashboard cameras legal in every state? Rules and Regulations
What are dashboard cameras
Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to cars. Some states don’t allow certain LED lights, and others allow certain colors. So before you buy anything for your vehicle, it is essential to do the proper research to make sure you won’t get in trouble. Each state will vary with rules and regulations, you will need to follow your states specific rules.
Some drivers may be thinking of getting a dashboard camera, and there are many useful reasons to get one. They help record everything while driving inside and outside of the car. This means if a driver gets into an accident, everything is recorded for the police. The best thing about this camera is that it is attached to the dashboard very easily.
Are dashboard cameras legal in all states? The answer is no. However, most states allow dashboard cameras, and there are some pretty strict rules that you will have to follow. Most states prohibit any equipment that blocks the view of the dashboard. On your state’s website, there should be rules you can find to help you find the answer.
If you can’t find anything on these cameras in your state, we will cover most stares during this article. It will help you decide if it is legal to put a dashboard camera in your car, and what the rules you will need to follow are. Every state is different, so the rules may vary.
States that prohibit products on the dashboard
Every state is different, the states listed below are not against dashboard cameras unless they are blocking views. The problem with some dashboard cameras is the fact that they are big, they block views, and this could cause accidents. If you live in these states, you will have to find a camera that does not obstruct the view at all. Anything that blocks the view is prohibited, and the law enforcement will make you take it down and give you a fine.
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Ohio.
Though these states prohibit your dashboard from being covered, you can find small enough cameras that don’t obstruct the view of your windows.
Missouri and North Carolina have absolutely no rules about things on the dashboard. However, keep in mind that even though nothing is listed, there still may be some rules the law wants you to follow. It is essential to ask questions to someone who would know the answer.
Here are a few other states that allow things on the dashboard, but with heavy restrictions, we will talk about some of the rules below.
These states include
Arizona, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin.
The rules and regulations
When you buy your dashboard camera, you will want to make sure it actually attached to the dashboard. Despite the name, a lot of these devices actually have suction cups to attach to the window. This could cause severe problems, and block important views, this may lead to accidents. If your device blocks more than a few inches on the driver’s side and passenger side, you will get a fine for having it in your car.
You will have to alert the passengers that there is a dashcam in your car. In the United States, this camera is considered a surveillance camera. This means it not only takes video of the inside and outside of the car, but it also records sounds. In the United States, there is a law about recording a conversation without both parties knowing. If you get a camera, be sure to warn the passengers, and if both agree and acknowledge the dashcam, there will be no problems.
What are dashboard cameras used for
There are many reasons someone may want to get a dashboard camera. If you ever get into an accident and it is not your fault, this camera can help prove that. If it is allowed in your state, it can be one of the best ways to protect your car.
- Car accidents- You will have exactly what happened recorded for the police to view. If the accident goes to court, you can use this to prove whose fault the accident was. This can save you in the future and be less expensive than going to court for weeks on end.
- Teenagers- When you are a parent and letting your kids drive alone for the first time, it is SCARY. Having a dashboard camera can ensure the safety of your teenager and provide evidence in case anything bad happens. Not only that, but a lot of the newer cameras also have GPS devices attached to them, you will always know where your kid is.
- Break-ins- If you are parked in an unknown area, and someone tries to break into your car, this device will capture and record it. The person breaking into your car will be on camera, and you will be able to report it to the police faster. Since it is on camera, you will have a higher chance of finding the person responsible.
There are many more reasons you may like having a dashboard camera. For instance, if you go on a road trip, it can catch all of the stunning images you see, and you can print them out later for a photo album. It can help capture magical moments that you can’t catch with your cell phone. If dashboard cameras are legal in your state, it may be the best investment for you.
Pros and cons of a dashboard camera
There are many reasons you may want to get a dashboard camera, but there can be some negative outcomes if you don’t choose carefully. In this case, it is okay to be incredibly picky when picking a camera for your car. Each camera will also have different features that you may like or may not like. Here are some pros and cons of putting a dashboard camera in your car.
Pros of a camera
- Protection- As listed above, this is one way to provide a secure way to protect yourself. As long as your camera doesn’t go off, you will be recording everything that happens, good or bad.
- Evidence- In the court of law, this can provide additional evidence for your case.
- Pictures- They can provide your family with beautiful pictures from all of your trips.
- Accessible- They are easy to find and easy to install.
- Budget-friendly- Technology has come a long way, and now this device is pretty affordable, especially considering the protection it provides. However, not all are cheap.
Cons of a camera
- Size- If your camera takes up too much space, you will get pulled over, and you will probably get a ticket and have to take it down right away.
- Knowledge- If you forget to tell your passenger they are on camera and its records audio, you could potentially get into a lot of trouble. You will not want to let this fact slip your mind.
- Budget- Not all cameras are budget-friendly. If you shop around the market, you will find expensive ones and cheaper ones. The more expensive ones will have additional features that you may or may not want.
Where can you get a dashboard camera
At most big retail stores, you may be able to find dashboard cameras. These include places like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. If you can’t make it to the store, there are some pretty good online options.
Five of the top options for buying dashboard cameras
- Z-Edge Dash Cam- This camera provides coverage for the front, back, inside, and the outside of your car. It comes at a friendly price of $129, and the best part is if you dislike this camera, you can return it for free.
- Chortau Dual Dash Cam- This picks up video from every angle and has some excellent night vision lenses attached. This has fewer features than some others, making it a lower price, coming in at $44.98. However, even with fewer features, it gets the job done. It is basic but good for people who need the basics.
- VAVA Dash Cam- This one can be controlled through your phone on an app. You will be able to access the views at any time, making you feel secure. The app can go straight to the police if something is happening, giving them real-time footage of any accidents. This dashcam is $107 because it has so many features for safety.
- Crosstour Dash Cam- This camera is $69.99, and the price is unbeatable. It has the perfect number of features that allow you to feel safe and secure. It has motion detection sensors that allow you to view who is in your car and when. It captures all details at any time of the day. It is the perfect mix between the basic cameras and the most high-tech cameras.
- TOGUARD Dash Cam- Lastly, this camera can gather images from 340 degrees. It captures information from inside and outside of the car and has incredible motion detection sensors. This is $99.99 and small enough that you will not obstruct any views but capture them all.
There are many great cameras online that you can order. All have different features, and you will want to read closely what you are getting. It is also important to look at the reviews when purchasing a new dashboard camera.
Features of a dashboard camera
Most cameras will come with many features you may or may not want. This includes Wi-Fi that allows you to view the images at any time, and report any suspicious activity to the police instantly. These cameras can include multiple lenses that allow them to capture images from all angles. Some cameras will have night vision making it easy to tell if anyone was trying to break into your car at night. Lastly, some cameras will be in HD, creating clear images in case you need to report anything to the police.
Final thoughts on the rules and regulations
If you are thinking about getting a dashboard camera, you will want to make sure it is the right size, and if your state allows it. Every state is different and will have specific requirements you will need to follow. You will want to talk to your local law enforcement office before buying or installing one into your car to make sure you can drive with the dashboard camera you choose.
You should also be aware that at any time, these laws can change. So, it is crucial to keep up to date with any of the rules in your state. It may be totally acceptable for one year, and two years later, it could get you into trouble.
The last thing you will want to look for is the features you want from a camera. Basic cameras will be on the cheaper side, while high tech cameras can be on the expensive side. Depending on what you are looking for will determine how much you spend on these cameras. A high tech one may be better at capturing high-resolution images, so if you’re concerned about going to court at any time, it may be worth the investment. HD cameras provide better evidence that you can use in court or with police officers.
Dashboard cameras can be the ultimate safety tool for your car and provide you with a feeling of extra security. It can be one of the best investments you make and save you a lot of time and trouble. Make sure you are following all of the rules your state requires, and that will ensure you get into no trouble.