Understanding Dash Cam Regulations in Arizona

Dash cams, or dashboard cameras, are increasingly popular devices that record footage of the road while you drive. They can serve various purposes, from capturing scenic drives to providing invaluable evidence in the event of an accident or traffic incident. However, if you’re an Arizona resident considering a dash cam, it’s essential to be aware of the state’s regulations regarding their use and placement.

Are Dash Cams Legal in Arizona?

Yes, dash cams are legal for civilian use in Arizona. There are no specific laws prohibiting their use, and they don’t fall under wiretapping or surveillance regulations. You are generally free to record video and audio while driving on public roads.

Key Regulations: Windshield Obstruction

While dash cam use itself is permissible, Arizona has laws governing windshield obstructions. These laws are in place to ensure drivers have a clear and unobstructed view of the road. Arizona Revised Statutes Section 28-959.01 outlines the regulations:

  • Placement: Dash cams must be placed in specific areas of the windshield to avoid hindering your line of sight.
  • Driver’s Side: A dash cam on the driver’s side must be within a 5-inch square area in the lowermost corner of the windshield, furthest from the driver.
  • Passenger’s Side: A dash cam on the passenger’s side must be within a 7-inch square area in the lowermost corner of the windshield.
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Why Are These Regulations Important?

Windshield obstruction regulations aim to:

  • Maintain Driver Visibility: Improperly placed dash cams or other objects can obstruct a driver’s clear view of the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Ensure Safe Driving: Regulations promote safety by allowing drivers to maintain an unobstructed view of traffic, pedestrians, and potential hazards.

Best Practices for Dash Cam Placement

To adhere to Arizona regulations and ensure optimal visibility, consider these tips:

  • Carefully Select Location: Mount your dash cam within the designated areas on either the driver’s or passenger’s side, ensuring it doesn’t impede your view.
  • Minimize Obstruction: Choose a compact dash cam and position it discreetly to minimize the area of the windshield it covers.
  • Regularly Check Placement: Ensure your dash cam remains securely mounted and doesn’t shift or move into an obstructive position.

Additional Considerations

  • Employer-Installed Dash Cams: Employers installing dash cams in commercial vehicles may have additional obligations and should consult with legal counsel.
  • Audio Recording: While it’s generally legal to record audio within your vehicle in Arizona, be mindful of privacy laws if passengers are involved. It’s advisable to inform them if audio recording is enabled.
  • Dash Cams and Insurance: Some insurance companies may offer discounts for drivers who use dash cams as they can provide valuable evidence in the event of a claim.

Using Dash Cam Footage as Evidence

Dash cam footage can be incredibly useful in various situations, including:

  • Insurance Claims: Footage can help determine fault in an accident and support insurance claims.
  • Traffic Violations: Dash cam recordings can capture traffic violations committed by other drivers, which you can report to the authorities.
  • Road Incidents: Dash cams can document unusual occurrences, road rage incidents, or hit-and-run accidents.
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Cities in Arizona

Remember, dash cam regulations apply throughout Arizona. Here are some major cities where these laws are relevant:

  • Phoenix
  • Tucson
  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Gilbert
  • Glendale
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Peoria
  • Surprise

Conclusion

Dash cams can be valuable tools for Arizona drivers, but understanding the state’s regulations about their use and placement is crucial. By following these guidelines, you can ensure your dash cam enhances your driving experience safely and legally.

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