Many road safety experts now advise drivers to use a dashcam when they are out on the road in the event of an accident. It can also make the individual motorist a better driver as they are more conscious of their habits and ensure they focus on the road.
Dashcams provide an unfiltered recording of any accidents which drivers may be involved in, or witness, giving reliable evidence to the police to examine.
Insurance companies will also often give out discounts for those who install a dashcam – favouring those motorists who are willing to commit to safety.
However, road users are being warned that they should place their dashcams in a suitable place on their windscreen or risk an accident.
Failure to keep the dashcam out of the “red zone” impinging on the driver’s view will result in penalty points or even a charge of dangerous driving in Scotland.
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Dashcams with suction cups allow motorists to place the dashcam anywhere on the windscreen so it is easy for drivers to get the placement wrong and be penalised.
And with dashcam ownership on the rise as Britons seek the security of the safety features they provide, more and more drivers could be unwittingly breaking the law.
The Highway Code clearly states that dashcams must not block any view of the road ahead – as the windscreen must be kept free from any obstructions to vision.
The Department for Transport further states that dashcams cannot be placed any more than 40mm into the swept area of the windscreen wipers (zone “B”) and no more than 10mm of intrusion of zone “A”.
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Zone “X” is the danger zone – and any dashcam placed here will mean the motorist is subject to serious driving offences as it will obstruct a clear vision of the road ahead.
Whilst dashcams should be on the windscreen in order to capture the best perspective of everything going on, they cannot block the motorist’s line of sight in any way.
If placed incorrectly, drivers will be breaking the law and any footage could be deemed as unreliable if the dashcam was blocking full view of the road ahead.
Gary Digva, founder of Road Angel said: “Putting the dashcam in a position which blocks any vision for you whilst driving is an absolute no-go – you can be subject at the very minimum to three penalty points on your licence.
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“Improper placement could also cause you to be charged with dangerous driving and not having proper control of the vehicle – which could mean going to court with an unlimited fine and potential driving ban.
“I know that many of us are tempted to put the dashcam in our line of sight because the screen seems like it should be there for us to look at – but this could easily lead to distractions and dangerous driving. It’s why we don’t recommend buying a dashcam with a screen.”
Experts have found that drivers want to fit dashcams in their line of sight because they feel the screen of the dashcam must be there for looking at.
But actually, the best place for these safety recording devices is at the top centre of the windscreen, next to the rearview mirror.
This way the camera can still record a full view of both sides of the road ahead, whilst not blocking any view for the driver. If caught with a dashcam or other device which is placed in a position which prevents clear vision, drivers will risk receiving three penalty points on their licence for improper placement.
A dashcam in the wrong place may also mean drivers lose proper control of their vehicle, causing danger to all other road users, and hefty penalties.
Mr Digva added: “The best place to put your dashcam is up high up right by your rearview mirror, that way the camera can capture both sides of the road and doesn’t cause any obstruction. Any footage which was captured from a dashcam blocking the view of the road ahead could be deemed as insufficient and actually be used against you for driving dangerously without clear vision.
“Dashcams are a great safety addition to all vehicles; but it’s crucial to understand where you should place one – at the top of your windscreen next to the rearview mirror is the best spot. It’ll capture a clear view of all the road ahead without being an obstruction to the driver. Otherwise, risk three penalty points on your licence, or being heavily penalised for dangerous driving.”