Arizona Dash Cam Laws
The explosion of portable technology in the Digital Era has led to a rapid increase in the number of drivers using dashboard cameras. Dash cams can record things inside the cab and out on the road, potentially serving as evidence in an accident claim. As dash cam prices become more reasonable, with many models under $100, more drivers have invested in them to record what happens as they drive. Drivers must be careful, however, to use them according to Arizona’s related laws.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Arizona?
Although some states limit or prohibit their use, you can lawfully install a dashboard camera in your vehicle in the state of Arizona. The state does not have any laws banning the pedestrian (non-law-enforcement) use of dash cams. You have the right to install dash cams, record your drives and use the footage as evidence during a car accident case. You must, however, comply with the state’s windshield obstruction regulations to avoid getting a ticket for having your dash cam in a dangerous position.
Arizona Revised Statute 28-959.01 controls visibility through all windows and mirrors in a motor vehicle, including the windshield. According to the law, any material attached to the windshield, including a dash cam, must be in the seven-inch square in the farthest lower corner of the windshield away from the driver or in a five-inch square in the lower corner closest to the driver. Your dash cam must comply with these laws, or else you could get a traffic ticket for a visibility issue.
Failing to comply with Arizona’s dash cam placement law could also lead to your liability for an auto accident if the visual obstruction was a reason for the collision. The other driver involved in the crash could allege that you were partially or fully at fault for having your dash cam in an illegal position that compromised your view of the road. If you did in fact have your dash cam in the wrong place, you could end up paying for damages.
Should You Use a Dash Cam?
Investing in a dashboard camera can have risks and benefits. Just as it could prove another driver’s fault for your accident, it could also prove your own fault.
Risks of Using a Dash Cam
You cannot selectively delete footage that shows your fault for a car accident, as this would constitute the crime of destroying evidence in an official case. The other driver may hire a lawyer to issue a subpoena to gain access to the dash cam footage you recorded during the accident. You must comply with a subpoena, or else risk penalties such as being held in contempt of court.
Benefits of Using a Dash Cam
If another driver or party is at fault for your auto accident, on the other hand, your dash cam can serve as important evidence in your favor. The footage you recorded of the accident or events leading up to the collision may provide proof of the other driver’s fault, such as the driver running a red light, speeding or making an unsafe lane change. You may be able to enter your dash cam footage into evidence to prove your side of the case. In this way, a dash cam could help you obtain compensation for your damages from the at-fault party in Arizona.
It may be most beneficial for you to use a dash cam if you are a commercial or paid driver. As a big rig operator, for example, a dash cam could help you dispute your alleged fault by showing that a passenger vehicle driver cut you off or was otherwise driving recklessly before the truck accident. If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, a dash cam that records the inside of your vehicle could help you in a case involving assault or robbery. No matter how or why you wish to use a dashboard camera, no state law prohibits you from doing so in Arizona as long as it does not obstruct your windshield.