Colorado Dash Cam Laws - Front Range Injury Attorneys – Denver Personal Injury Lawyers

Colorado Dash Cam Laws

Dashboard cameras are increasingly common due to price reductions and increased availability of the technology. A growing number of cars are available with built-in front and rear cameras. Dash cam footage can be extremely useful in car accidents–especially when the drivers disagree on the circumstances leading to the collision. Dash cams can also record events inside the passenger compartment of a car. That can provide safety for passengers and drivers in taxis and rideshare vehicles. Before installing a dash cam or purchasing a car with a built-in camera, find out if these tools are legal in Colorado.

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Are dash cams legal in Colorado?

Dashboard cameras are subject to legal restrictions as a vehicle component and under privacy laws. Each state regulates dash cam use differently, so it is important to know what is legal in Colorado. Dash cam laws can regulate the placement of cameras, the materials and size of the camera construction and when you can use them. Most states regulate dash cams to prohibit obstructing the driver’s view of the roadway. A key concern for dash cams is avoiding unsafe conditions caused by the type and placement of a camera. Cameras that obstruct a driver’s view or reflect light into other cars can create dangerous situations for yourself and other drivers, resulting in more car accidents. If you place a camera in an impermissible place in your car or use a camera that reflects sunlight into other cars, you could receive a traffic ticket. It is better to choose the right dash cam under Colorado dash cam laws.

Colorado does not have a law explicitly permitting or prohibiting dash cams; however, other vehicle maintenance and regulation laws affect dash cam use. Colorado Revised Statute section 42-4-201 prohibits anything that may block a driver’s view through a windshield which could include an ill-placed dash cam. C.R.S. section 42-4-227 also prohibits reflective surfaces on windshields. While the statute specifically mentions windshield coverings, a dashboard camera with a reflective surface could risk a traffic citation. Even if you beat the ticket, the cost of hiring an attorney for the traffic citation is more trouble than picking a non-reflective camera.

Colorado cities can also establish their own regulations for dash cam use within city limits. For example, in Denver, the municipal law also prohibits obstructive devices that block the driver’s view of the road. (Denver Code of Ordinances) Although it is a safe bet to follow state law, you should be aware of any more restrictive local ordinances in any town where you frequently drive.

Additionally, you should be aware of privacy laws regarding dash cameras anywhere you travel. In some states it is illegal to record the sound or video within the passenger cab without consent of all parties involved. Colorado does not regulate dash cams specifically for privacy. We are a one party consent state, so as long as one person in the car (such as the driver) is aware of the camera and agrees to allow it to record, it is legal to do so. If you travel to other states with passengers, you should confirm their laws or disable the dash cam audio when driving in those states. Otherwise, you may have a problem with a passenger pursuing a breach of privacy claim against you.

Where can I put my dash cam in my car?

Dash cam placement in your car must comply with Colorado law. The best place to put a dashboard camera is out of your line of sight in the driver’s seat. Although we call these “dashboard cameras” most people have moved the cameras off the dashboard. Originally, many people installed the cameras on top of the dashboard. That resulted in blocking some view of the road. Today, most people place dashboard cameras in the center of the windshield near the top. That may be behind or to the right of the rearview mirror. That allows the dash cam a full view of the road while giving the driver the same unobstructed view. In newer vehicles with installed dash cams, they are typically installed within the rearview mirror or within the control panel above the mirror.

Generally it is acceptable to place a dash cam in the lower right or left corner of the windshield. In many cars this will not block the driver’s view but test your car in a parked position to ensure you can comply with both state and local laws. In cars with smaller windshields, a corner-mounted dash cam may present a problem. This placement may not be optimal in all vehicles to get a full view; however, it is easier to wire the camera to power and storage through the dashboard.

Can police take your dash cam?

A police officer in Colorado generally cannot take your dash cam in a traffic stop. They are legal to possess and use so an officer cannot legally confiscate it or an attached storage device. If your camera is located in an impermissible place, you may receive a traffic ticket and fine.

If your car is involved in a car accident, a police officer may request the footage. If you decline to voluntarily share it, the officer can seek a subpoena for your dash cam footage. In that scenario you must surrender the footage or your camera to extract the recording. It is a court order, so you either comply or face significant penalties. The footage may be used in a criminal proceeding related to the car accident or in a civil personal injury case. You should preserve the footage of a car accident. You may create problems pursuing your own car accident claim if you delete footage. You could also commit a crime by interfering with a police investigation. Even if you believe the footage proves your fault for a collision, you should hand it over. If you have concerns about surrendering dash cam footage, you should talk to a Denver car accident attorney.

Can I record the police during a traffic stop?

Under the First Amendment you generally have the right to record the police as long as you have permission to be in the place recording takes place and does not interfere with police investigation or emergency response. You can record a traffic stop on your dash cam in Colorado as long as you don’t use the camera to obstruct the officer’s investigation. If your camera is fixed facing forward, you may only record audio on the dash cam. You may want to use a cell phone that you can face at your driver-side mirror.

Why is dash cam footage important evidence in Colorado?

While though video evidence of an automobile collision is not usually required to establish liability in a case, it can be crucial if there is any doubt. Even when contradictory loss tales might be resolved, the procedures might end up being inefficient and expensive. The finest piece of evidence to determine liability after an automobile collision in Colorado is dash cam film, which can be utilized as proof. Although more drivers than ever are utilizing dash cams, it may surprise you to learn that video proof of an automobile accident is rarely recorded.

While many people believe that a nearby halo, business, or household camera may film an accident, these cameras are frequently placed in a way that prevents this from happening. Also, it may be challenging to locate potential cameras before the video is overwritten or deleted. Contrary to popular perception, many of the cameras installed above traffic lights do not capture anything and instead just feed the authorities operating the cameras a live stream of the traffic.

A dash camera can help you recover damages after an accident

Dashcams can offer important proof to back up your claim for damages following a vehicle accident. Videos clearly show what truly happened before and during the accident, whether you are pursuing compensation through an insurer or bringing a lawsuit.

But, you must exercise caution when mounting a dashcam to avoid having it obstruct your field of vision, which could lead to an accident or give the police justification to issue a traffic violation. Many people advise attaching the camera right behind the rearview mirror, but before doing so, make sure the vision is clear from the driver’s seat.

If you need help using or protecting your dash cam footage after an auto accident, the experienced Denver personal injury attorneys at our law firm are ready to assist. We protect car accident victims and help them pursue the compensation they deserve. Contact our Denver law office to speak with a personal injury attorney for free.

Colorado Car Accident Lawyers

If you suffered injuries in an auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Our experienced Colorado car accident lawyers help clients across the state pursue full and fair compensation for their accident-related injuries and financial losses. We help clients in Colorado with a wide range of motor vehicle collisions involving different types of vehicles, crashes and severity of impacts. Contact our law firm to discuss:

Although most of our motor vehicle collision clients hail from Denver, we also help clients in other parts of Colorado, including:

No matter the type of auto accident or location in Colorado, our law firm is ready to talk to you about your case. Front Range Injury Attorneys offers free consultations for car crash cases so you can speak with our experienced personal injury lawyers at no cost and no obligation.

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