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The dashcam is on the rise - What are the rules in European countries?

May 07, 2018
3 min reading time

A dashcam allows you to capture what is happening in front of and/or behind your car. In an accident, the footage can be of value, but what about privacy? With the camera you capture images on which people and their vehicles can be recognized. What are the rules for this in the Netherlands and in other European countries?


Dashcam and rules

Images of a dashcam you already encounter frequently on television and online. These come mainly from Russia. There, the dashcam has been made mandatory by car insurance companies. This is because they provide useful images for settling claims. A dashcam can even record the location, time of day and driving speed. This, in turn, can provide useful information for settling claims. The new privacy laws (AVG as of May 25, 2018) are likely to change the policies of European countries, but what about now?

Is a dashcam allowed in the Netherlands?

You may place a dashcam in your car, but there are rules. A first requirement focuses on safety. The dashcam or its wiring must not obstruct the driver's view. Conditions also apply to distributing the images. People and license plates may not be recognizable in the images. It is allowed if you have permission from the persons or owners of the recognizable cars. The images may be used to settle claims, but not all insurers work with images.

Countries that have approximately the same regulations as in the Netherlands

In Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, the regulations are similar to our country. But in Belgium, you are not allowed to make the images public. In the countries where it is allowed, however, it is usually emphasized that you must take into account the privacy of the people in the images. In Croatia, the rules are also similar to ours, but it is emphasized that you are not allowed to film where filming is prohibited anyway.

In which countries is it better not to use the dashcam?

Not all European countries allow you to take images from public roads just like that. It is better not to use the dashcam if you are going on vacation by car in the coming months. In Germany and Luxembourg, dashcams that record constantly are prohibited. It is possible that recordings may be used during abrupt reactions (for example, sudden braking), but there is no court ruling on that yet. In France, too, there are still many uncertainties. Avoid problems and do not use a dashcam in these countries. In Austria, there is a ban on recording people without permission. That includes the dashcam. In Spain and Portugal, filming is also discouraged.

In the United Kingdom, short excerpts are allowed

In many European countries, there are still many ambiguities about what is and is not allowed. In the United Kingdom, they have already taken a stand. Recording images is allowed, but it should be limited to short fragments. The images should not be published publicly, but sharing them with police and insurers is allowed.

Be cautious with the recordings made by the dashcam, especially abroad. Do you still want to use the dashcam on vacation? Then familiarize yourself carefully with the latest legislation on the subject.

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