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  1. #1
    sidepocketwil is offline Junior Member sidepocketwil is on a distinguished road
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    Legality of vehicle dash/windshield video cameras/dvrs

    Hello,

    I'm considering getting a miniature video camera to mount on the dash or windshield to record my driving just so I have video evidence if I'm ever involved in an auto accident again. What are the laws regarding such recordings, especially with regards to the varying consent laws in differing states?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    mobrien316's Avatar
    mobrien316 is offline Philosopher/Marksman mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute mobrien316 has a reputation beyond repute
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    You probably already have a "black box" in your car that will record data just fine. In the event of an accident the information can be downloaded and will show lots of info about what you were doing, such as speed, braking input, etc...

    Why would you feel you need a video recorder in your car?
    Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

    Fiat justitia, ruat coelum.

  3. #3
    sidepocketwil is offline Junior Member sidepocketwil is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobrien316 View Post
    You probably already have a "black box" in your car that will record data just fine. In the event of an accident the information can be downloaded and will show lots of info about what you were doing, such as speed, braking input, etc...

    Why would you feel you need a video recorder in your car?
    Maybe the newer high end cars have a black box, but I know my cars don't have one. Besides, nothing beats visual evidence when someone decides to abruptly turn in front of your path of travel. I figure they're inexpensive enough to be worthwhile in case I ever need it.

  4. #4
    mobrien316's Avatar
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    If you drive a car with an airbag, the chances are your car also has a event recorder. They are not just on newer high-end cars.
    Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

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  5. #5
    sidepocketwil is offline Junior Member sidepocketwil is on a distinguished road
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    Interesting. I did not know that they've been around since 1996. At least according to this article,

    abcnews.go.com/Technology/MellodyHobson/car-black-box-records-key-data/story?id=9814181

    However, I don't believe police or insurance companies bother to access that data unless there's been an injury. For non-injury related accidents my county PD does not even do an on scene investigation. They simply issue citations based on what they think happened. My theory is with video evidence I can help the authorities and insurance companies determine fault.

  6. #6
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    My concern would be that it not block your view of traffic and that it was mounted SECURELY so it wouldn't come loose.

    Presuming that you go with a DVD based system , is it going to hold up under vehicle use ( vibration etc) as compared to a " handheld " unit. Will you remember to change the DVD every so soften ? WIll you remember to turn it off so you don't have a dead battery or turn it on and to start recording when you start out ?

    I think your concern is genuine but that the practicality and the cost of actually doing this won't last.

    Our systems strart when the car is powered on and turn off when the car is turned off. We use a DVD system with a HD backup that lets us know when the disc is getting full. It writes onto the HD when the disc is full. We also use a HD only model that wirelessly uploads to our server when the cruiser is in our lot.

    The " typical " low buck version of this is a cheap handheld camcorder bolted to the dash that you have to manually turn on AND hit the record button EVERY time you get in the car and do the full shutdown when you get out. Is such a system going to endure HOT temps in the car and COLD temps ?

    Is all of this really worth it ?
    Last edited by mcsap; 07-28-11 at 01:53 PM.
    Creeper Cop

  7. #7
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    Check you local DMV laws. Some states have a violation for obstructing the drivers view. This was a standard summons in New York in the late sixties for arrogant drivers who had fuzzy dice hanging from their mirror.

  8. #8
    sidepocketwil is offline Junior Member sidepocketwil is on a distinguished road
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    The DVRs I'm talking about are pretty small, no larger than a deck of cards and it mounts using a suction cup to the windshield or a sticky back disc to the dash. They use sdcards and can be set to record on vehicle startup and set to continuously record and loop when the card is full. It could fit behind the rear view mirror where people stick their ez-pass transponder. It wouldn't be worst than all the portable GPS systems I see people put on their dash/windshields. I'm less concerned with the physical aspect of the device than the laws regarding recording in public. Would I need the consent of every person that happens to walk by my car and gets recorded? I presume no, since in one way or another we're all being recorded due to all the cctv security and traffic cams that are installed. I figured I'd broach the subject here to see if any LEOs have knowledge regarding these devices.

  9. #9
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    Many states restrict what you can attach to your windshield. In Florida you're only legally allowed to attach a GPS and a toll transponder to your windshield. Anything else attached to the windshield (even a radar detector) is illegal.

  10. #10
    sidepocketwil is offline Junior Member sidepocketwil is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaV View Post
    Many states restrict what you can attach to your windshield. In Florida you're only legally allowed to attach a GPS and a toll transponder to your windshield. Anything else attached to the windshield (even a radar detector) is illegal.
    That seems odd. Why restrict what type of device you can attach as long as it doesn't cause a safety issue no worst than a legal GPS device. Sounds like the law is less about safety than it is about what the device capabilities are. Rather than making the law inclusive it should just exclude devices they don't like, i.e. radar detectors in VA.

  11. #11
    mcsap is offline Veteran member ( retired) mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute mcsap has a reputation beyond repute
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    Who said laws have to make sense ? They are NEVER written by the people who use them , only by people who sit at a desk and think about what seems good to THEM.
    Creeper Cop

  12. #12
    sidepocketwil is offline Junior Member sidepocketwil is on a distinguished road
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    Ain't that the truth. Too bad you guys can't just enforce laws that make sense.

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