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West Virginia Dashcam Laws

December 28, 2020 | Laws

When many people think of dashcams, they immediately think of police vehicles. Dashcams have long been used by law enforcement to record activities that take place while they are driving or during a traffic stop. However, over the last decade, dashcams have become more and more popular throughout the general population. These cameras host a variety of benefits, though they can be particularly useful in the event a person is involved in an accident and needs to prove they were not responsible. Dashcams are not legal in all states. Here, we want to discuss what West Virginia law says about having a dashcam installed in your vehicle.

Are Dashcams Legal in West Virginia?

Dashcams are allowed to be used in West Virginia, though there are laws regarding the positioning of any object on the windshield of a vehicle. Per West Virginia law (WV Code § 17C-15-36), “No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of such vehicle which obstructs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.”

So long as a dashcam is positioned correctly and not obstructing a driver’s view, there should be no problem having the device in the vehicle.

What are Dashcams?

Modern dashcams are little devices smaller than a modern cell phone that are mounted inside a vehicle on the front windshield. They record the events in front of the vehicle. In some cases, these dashcams have little screens that can be seen by the driver, but some dashcams do not have screens. Dashcams will have some sort of memory storage device to record what is happening, so the events outside the vehicle can later be viewed by the driver.

There are various benefits to having a dashcam inside a vehicle in West Virginia. This includes:

  • Recording another driver’s negligent actions leading up to an accident. These videos will have timestamps that show the actions of the driver and others around the vehicle leading up to the incident.
  • Video footage of an accident could be useful for an insurance claim or during a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Leaving a dashcam running while the vehicle is off could offer an additional layer of protection from theft.
  • Dashcams help drivers become aware of their own driving habits.

There are also various negative aspects to having a dashcam inside of the vehicle. This can include:

  • If the driver who owns a dashcam was at fault in an accident, the footage could be used against them.
  • Depending on the positioning of the dashcam, the driver could become distracted.
  • Drivers may be tempted to adjust the dashcam or watch the screen while driving, creating a distraction.
  • Dashcams only show what is happening in the direction the camera is pointing and nowhere else around the vehicle.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the negligent actions of somebody else, contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Manchin Ferretti Injury Law, our Martinsburg car accident lawyers have extensive experience helping accident victims prove liability for their case and secure full compensation for their losses. If your dashcam was able to capture footage of the car accident, we will have this footage analyzed and reviewed to help further determine liability in your case. Let our car accident lawyers get to work helping you through this today. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling (304) 264-8505.