Dashboard cameras (“dash cams”) have become much more popular as prices for the technology continues to decline. In Colorado, dash cams can provide important video evidence of a car accident that can be used to protect people against negligent drivers who fail to accept responsibility for causing a car accident.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Colorado?
While there is no law requiring or prohibiting dash cam usage, Colorado Statutes restrict where interior dash cams can be mounted. Specifically for legal placement of dash cam, drivers cannot mount dash cams in an area that obstructs the driver’s view of the road. Also, the cameras must not reflect glare or cause distraction to oncoming drivers. This means dash cams cannot be mirrored or coated in metallic paint. Therefore, the best place to mount a dash cam is directly behind a vehicle’s rearview mirror.
Consider Colorado Privacy Laws
Outside of these dash cam placement restrictions, drivers should also consider privacy laws in the State in which they drive. Specifically, some states make it illegal to record sound within the cab of a vehicle through a dash cam without the occupants’ knowledge and permission. As is a one-party consent state, Colorado drivers should ensure they are not violating wiretapping laws when their device records audio.
Can Police Seize Dash Cam Footage?
Generally speaking, a police officer cannot seize a driver’s dash cam footage in a traffic stop. This amounts to an illegal search and seizure. As dash cams are not illegal in Colorado, there is no reasonable basis for a police officer to seize the footage. This is true even when a driver receives a citation for obstructing their windshield with a dash cam. However, police can subpoena a driver’s dash cam footage following a Colorado car accident.
Why is Dash Cam Footage Important Evidence in Colorado?
While video evidence of a car accident is not always necessary to prove fault in a case, it can be paramount if there is disputed liability. Although conflicting stories of loss may be overcome, the methods could prove timely and costly. Dash cam footage can be used as evidence and become the best piece of evidence to establish liability following a car accident in Colorado. While more drivers are using dash cams than ever before, it may come as a surprise that video evidence of a car accident is seldom captured.
Why Is Video Evidence Rarely Captured?
While many assume a nearby business, residential, or halo camera will show an accident, these cameras are often positioned in a way that fails to capture the accident. Further, it can be difficult to identify possible cameras before the recording is written over or purged. In addition, contrary to popular belief, many of the cameras positioned above traffic lights are non-recording and only provide a live traffic feed to the authority operating the cameras.
Contact a Colorado Car Accident Attorney
A dash cam could provide indisputable evidence regarding the color of a traffic light, the right of way, or even the location of vehicles in an accident. Learn more about auto accident legal representation and contact a Colorado car accident lawyer for your free consultation.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.