Incidents regularly occur in taxis. Dashboard cameras are therefore used to guarantee drivers’ sense of safety and to prevent vandalism. There is no specific law for the use of these cameras, but strict rules apply to the distribution of the images.

In recent years, several shocking images of incidents, which were recorded from vehicles. Sometimes the recordings are made by passengers themselves, but they also regularly come from dashcams. These are cameras that are placed on the windshield or dashboard of a car to record what is happening in the driver’s field of view. There are also dashcams with a second lens, which also records what is happening inside the car.

Most devices record all driving data and give a sound signal when the vehicle crosses a white line or when the speed limit is exceeded. Some models also have a G-sensor, which starts a recording the moment there is hard braking, a collision or if the vehicle suddenly changes direction.

When placing a dashcam must first of all take into account the rules in the field of road safety. The camera must be securely and properly mounted so that it cannot become detached in the event of a collision. It is not an offense to operate the camera while driving, but if the driver exhibits unsafe driving behavior as a result, it is punishable.

Direct and indirect identification A dashcam may therefore be used in the Netherlands, but privacy legislation must be respected. The public road may be filmed with the dashcam. However, people are often directly or indirectly recognizable in the image. Direct identification mainly concerns the face and indirect identification, for example, involves a number plate. Without permission, the publication of these images is prohibited. This is only allowed if that with which someone can be identified is made unrecognizable. For example, a face or license plate can be blurred.

The moment a driver commits an offense and this is filmed with a private camera, these images can be used as evidence in a possible lawsuit. If the Public Prosecution Service knows that images are available, the driver may even be obliged to make them available. It is then up to the judge to decide whether or not the images will be admitted as evidence. However, the police emphasize that these images give a one-sided picture that says little about the context surrounding an accident. “The Public Prosecution Service will rarely build a case based on camera images alone,” said a spokesperson.

Rules differ in other countries

Just like in the Netherlands, a tolerance policy for dashcams also applies in many other European countries, or their use is allowed at all. But in some countries, such as Greece and Portugal, its use is prohibited or requires permission from passengers. Because the laws in different countries can differ greatly and are subject to change, the police advise drivers to inform themselves before going abroad with a dashcam.

Read also:

Driving behavior determines premium taix insurance: what about privacy? How do you deal with aggressive taxi passengers? Alderman: ‘The Amsterdam taxi market really needs to change now’ 2022

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