Illegal or not? What's the deal with dash cams in Dubai?
Turns out, they ARE legal, in fact, some people say they’ll make our roads a safer place (but what you do with the footage can be illegal)…
As well as providing a great source of YouTube entertainment, dash cams can actually help drivers out of potentially sticky situations. In Dubai there’s still a common misconception that they’re illegal. But it turns out that that is not the case…
In February last year, the Federal Traffic Council of the UAE recommended car owners be allowed to install dash cams, as long as they didn’t violate the privacy of others.
Then in September, Dubai Police said it welcomed submissions of photos and videos which revealed dodgy driving on the roads, as part of its ‘We Are Police’ campaign.
THEY’RE NOT ILLEGAL, BUT…
Dubai-based company Open Eye Security Systems Installation is certified to distribute and install the cameras, and worked with Dubai Police to establish the region’s first dash cam registry.
Jeremy Pinnington, the company’s co-founder and managing director, says a lot of UAE customers ask for clarification about the legality of the cameras, with many people presuming they’re illegal here.
The simple answer is, they have never been illegal, he says.
“It’s what you do with the footage that can be illegal – for example, you cannot post any footage from your dash cam on social media as it might breach someone’s privacy.“
In Austria, dash cams are illegal, while in Australia they’re legal on the condition they’re only used on public roadways and aren’t invasive of others’ privacy. In Germany, they are permitted, but the posting of the videos online isn’t.
TAXIS TRIALLING DASH CAMS
Over the past year, Pinnington says the company has seen an increase in the number of drivers using the technology. So far, they have installed dash cams in 250 private vehicles, and 1,000 corporate vehicles.
Open Eye Security Systems are also conducting trials with five taxi companies in Dubai. “The more people that adopt this technology, the safer the roads will become.”
So if you’re a nervous driver looking for a bit of reassurance, or even if you’re just wanting to capture epic footage of yourself cruising through the sand dunes, a dash cam might be for you…