02 Sep Dash cams: What private hire drivers need to know
Dash cams can be useful for both drivers and riders. Dash cam footage can back you up in the event of a complaint or a difficult passenger, and helps to reassure riders from a safety perspective. But there are some important things to be aware of before you buy and head out on the road.
If you’re thinking about installing a dash cam, we’ve done some of the homework for you in terms of the benefits of having one, and the legal pointers to consider.
We’ve also pulled together a summary of the latest reviews if you decide a dash cam is for you or if you want to upgrade your current model.
The following information is correct at the time of writing on 31 August 2021.
Getting started with dash cams
Uber drivers are allowed to use video cameras to record riders for safety purposes, though Uber encourages drivers to check the rules around recording in your local area.
In the UK, these are some of the things you need to know if you want to put a dash cam in your car:
- A dash cam mustn’t obstruct your field of vision when driving
- You must inform anyone riding in your vehicle that you have a dash cam recording. If not, this is a breach of privacy
- Tampering with dash cam footage can be a serious offence
- Dash cam footage can be used as evidence in court cases
Why get a dash cam?
Continuous recording dash cams are CCTV systems installed in cars which record video footage while the car is running. Some dash cams also offer recording in ‘parking mode’ when the engine is off.
Dash cams can have front and rear facing cameras to record activity in front of, inside and behind the car.
Some dash cams record audio too, but this is generally seen as too intrusive. Audio can be permanently switched off in some models, though it is also possible to use models with a panic button to activate audio recording, for example in an emergency.
Dash cams have been shown to reduce accidents and can help payment disputes. They can also help avoid abuse and assaults against drivers. Having video evidence is also useful in the event of a complaint, especially when it’s your word against the rider’s.
What are the rules?
There are some clear benefits to using dash cams, but you also need to strike the right balance when it comes to passenger privacy.
Under data protection rules, there needs to be a good reason for using a dash cam in private hire vehicles. For example, if a company you’re working for wants to check people are driving safely, a GPS device that monitors speed would be better as it’s less intrusive.
Make sure you tell riders CCTV is in operation or that a dash cam is recording. This can be done by speaking to passengers or by stickers on the car doors. You should also include a name and contact details of you or your company if appropriate if people want to access their data.
Recordings shouldn’t be kept for longer than needed, and only for a maximum of 28 days. Recordings can only be kept longer if there are exceptional circumstances, such as an insurance claim or a criminal investigation.
What dash cam should I get?
Now that you have a bit more info, you can research the best dash cam for you. Here are some of the recent and latest models, reviewed with Uber drivers and other private hire drivers in mind.
Vantrue N2 Pro
- Dual Lens 1080P front and inside dash cam
- Infrared night vision
- 24-hour parking mode and time lapse
- Continuous loop record
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- 170° views in front and inside of your car
- Small camera and 3-inch screen
- Loop recording feature to overwrite old recordings
- Recordings locked and stored automatically on sudden impact
Zenfox T3 3CH
- Three camera coverage for front, inside and rear
- Good night image quality
- Built-in GPS that records your driving route, location, speed and time
Garmin Dash Cam Mini
- Ultra-compact key sized dash cam
- Integrated wlan and Bluetooth to transfer recordings to Garmin drive app
- Automatic accident recording
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