Vehicle cameras are an essential add-on for fleet vehicles of all types and sizes. They help combat the growing amount of fraud and also protect your insurance from no-fault claims. However, there are rules that must be followed if you want to avoid complaints and investigation from bodies such as data protection organisations.
It is perfectly legal to install and use vehicle cameras in your vehicles, albeit some European countries have much more stringent laws surrounding their use and the use of the video. These change regularly, so if you are pan-European freight/logistics company we would strongly suggest you review the laws for the countries you travel in, however, we have had no reports of problems from Irish and UK companies using cameras abroad to date.
BUT…the one thing you must be very careful about is the use of the footage you take. So here are a couple of points to bear in mind:
- Recording In A Public Place
One of the grey areas, because of legal precedence lagging technology, is that technically vehicle cameras can be deemed as CCTV Equipment. As such, it is a requirement to display signs informing the public that the vehicle has video recording systems installed. This is especially true where the system provides delayed switch-off capabilities, as this means that you continue to record when the vehicle is parked and stopped – essentially making it a fixed CCTV system.
- Use Of Video
The video content must only be used for the purpose for which it was intended. In other words, most vehicle camera systems are installed to protect fleets from fraudulent and no-fault claims. This therefore does not mean that you can post up the recordings to public sites, such as YouTube. This is especially the case where personal information is contained within the recording. That means, recognisable people, number plates, voices, etc. should be removed/obscured if you do use it publicly. In any event, public posting of content could prejudice any proceedings that might occur because of the recording and you could also fall foul of data protection rules with heavy fines imposed for infringements.
In short, a court would take a dim view if content you recorded was used for entertainment purposes rather than protection of your fleet. Especially if the cameras were seen as being installed ‘covertly’.
This is the first in a series of articles on the subject of vehicle cameras and the law, however, should you have any concerns about the implementation or use of vehicle cameras, we would suggest you consult with your solicitor. If you would like to discuss your vehicle camera needs, be sure to contact us as we’ll be delighted to answer your questions and provide our expert advice on the various options.