DASH cams are increasingly common in British cars, but they can be a blessing and a curse.
Placing one in the wrong spot or allowing it to block your vision could see you get a hefty fine and points on your licence.
Dash cams are useful if you’ve been in an accident and need to show your insurer what’s happened.
But you could find yourself in trouble with the police if the camera is placed in the wrong spot on the windscreen.
Can I get fined for having a dash cam on my windscreen?
Driving with any kind of obstruction on your windscreen that limits your field of vision can distract you from what’s happening on the road.
Anything that prevents you from having a full view of the road can see you hit with a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on your licence.
And if you try to challenge the penalty in court, you could be hit with a maximum fine of £1,000.
So, although it’s not technically illegal to place a dash cam in the middle of the windscreen, obstructing your view can attract a large fine.
The Highway Code states: “windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”.
And the Road Traffic Act states “no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot … have a full view of the road and traffic ahead”.
How do dash cams work?
Dash cams record the road in front of you so you have evidence in the event of a crash or claim.
The police and your insurer can demand to view any footage you film.
And you can even submit footage to police if the incident doesn’t involve you to help with investigations.
A dash cam should be placed behind the rear-view mirror, out of your field of vision, to make sure it doesn’t distract you while behind the wheel.
Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Your dash cam should be fitted in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
“Making sure any footage has a good balance of road and sky which will help with exposure, if your dash cam links to a smartphone you can check this while setting it up.”
Do dash cams record when the car is off?
Dash cams usually switch on and off with the car’s engine.
But most can also be set up to record while parked and during the night.
And some can be remotely operated, so you can switch them on to record if you suspect something suspicious near your vehicle.
We previously revealed drivers could be fined up to £1,000 for putting their sat nav in the wrong spot.
Our must-read winter driving tips are here.