Coping with the legal uncertainty of dashcams

Motorists in the UAE see dash cams as a means for possible protection should a legal issue arise after an incident on the road – despite the use of them being in a legal grey zone, as it is in other countries.

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Dashboard cameras famously captured footage of a fiery meteor in Russia in 2013. This year, several Taiwanese motorists recorded videos of TransAsia flight 235 crashing into a river.

As the market for such gadgets increases around the world, motorists in the UAE see them as a means for possible protection should a legal issue arise after an incident on the road – despite the use of them being in a legal grey zone, as it is in other countries.

A judge in Germany ruled against dashcam video evidence in a case last year, citing an obscure privacy law known as “informational self-determination”.

Similar laws also limit their use in Switzerland and Austria.

In the UAE, drivers looking to purchase one are not exactly inundated with options. Online retailer souq.com sells a handful of different dashcams in a range of prices, starting at Dh90.

More advanced models with GPS locators and sensors that can detect a collision cost more than Dh1,100.

On the streets, however, dashcams are harder to find. Of five car accessory shops contacted in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, only one said it could provide them.

esamoglou@thenational.ae