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What is a dashboard camera?

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Dashboard cameras are also known as car or truck dash cams, fleet dash cams or dashcams. Most of these cameras face forward, pointing out from behind the windshield glass so that the video image corresponds to the driver’s view. Other dashboard cameras also face rearward, aimed at the inside of the vehicle. Additionally, these technologies can be a multi-camera set up, providing a 360-degree view of the vehicle. 

 

Dashcams, or in-vehicle camera systems, are video recording devices that are often paired with sensors, and attached to the vehicle dashboard, the inside of the windshield or nearly any surface. Dashboard cameras are usually powered by the vehicle’s electrical system, and can be manually switched on/off, automatically activated or switched on via the vehicle’s ignition system.

In-vehicle camera benefits for fleets

In-vehicle cameras have become an aftermarket accessory in private vehicles but the devices are gaining popularity in commercial vehicles, for fleet management, risk avoidance and driver monitoring.

Truck incidents and traffic violations are a major expense for a vehicle fleet of any size, and video recording of driver behaviour can help fleet managers recognise unsafe driving practices and develop additional training to keep down these costs.

Multi-camera solutions are useful following an incident if other parties dispute what happened and who may be at fault. These devices have proved valuable in settling litigation and avoiding potentially expensive judgments.

Dashboard camera benefits for drivers

In the same way that in-vehicle camera footage protects vehicle fleets, the visual record of driver performance can help safeguard the driver against claims of fault or negligence. 

When vehicle telematics record an instance of rough driving behaviour such as harsh braking or sharp acceleration, the video file can show why the driver executed these manoeuvres – for instance, to avoid an impending collision. 

Dashcam camera legality

In-vehicle cameras are legal in all states of Australia and are highly regarded by insurance companies and enforcement agencies as it provides strong physical evidence to support your claims.

The footage is almost always admissible as evidence in court. However, laws vary on dashboard camera use, depending on which state or territory you live in or are driving through at the time. 

Extra caution must be applied as it must not be used to film private encounters such as recording conversations without the consent of the individual.

Additionally, fleet managers need to be mindful about the proper placement of the device in their fleet vehicles, to avoid obstruction of view. In-vehicle cameras are automatically included in the list of devices that could be mounted on the dashboard and some states have specific guidelines.