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Dash mounted Cameras
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Post Dash mounted Cameras 
Is it ok to have my camcorder mounted in my vehicle, that's not obstructing my view? It would have come in handy a few times in an accident that wasn't my fault, and I figured I would ask here before I mounted it. Do I need to inform the officer if I ever get pulled over?

Thanks.

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There does not appear to be a specific code that addresses mounting a video camera / camcorder on the dash of your vehicle. You will want to review Indiana Code 9-19-17-1 (Installation of Television within the View of Driver Prohibited), and 9-21-8-43 (Obstruction of Driver's View and Interference with Driver's Control Prohibited) before you do so.

This is a discussion forum though and I would be remiss in my role as a first responder if I did not take this opportunity to encourage you NOT to mount anything on the dash of your vehicle that would distract you from driving.

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Post Dash cams 
I find it very ironic that the police department discourages the use of dash cams due to safety concerns, yet almost every police car that I see has one. Not to mention paper work, shotguns, and emergency lights...granted all necessary tools for the job, but still a bit hypocritical eh?

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Officer Foster did not say not to mount anything on the dash. She simply said not to mount anything on the dash that would distract the driver. That sounds to me more like cautionary advice about size and placement of the camera rather than a discouragement to use the camera.

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Thanks for you post, Guest Ironic,

You should know that I also discourage speeding, and running red lights. In fact, I have issued citations for such violations, and yet I too have committed such violations while on duty and in my squad car. Sometimes, law enforcement officers must break the law in order to enforce it. While you might think that it is a perk to do so, it really isn’t. Even though we are trained and tested annually on Emergency Vehicle Operations, we place ourselves at a much higher risk for being involved in an accident or being injured in an accident when we drive aggressively.

Just as many officers will, I can easily recount many runs that I had been dispatched to wherein I had driven faster than the posted speed limit, or disregarded a traffic signal. I remember one such call was in an attempt to catch up to a driver who was possibly intoxicated. I was on patrol in the Waynedale area on second shift. The driver was reportedly speeding, and had struck the street curb and crossed the center line several times. Fortunately, I caught up to that vehicle as he was turning from Bluffton Road onto Engle Road and I initiated a traffic stop before that vehicle collided with oncoming traffic. I can’t remember now what the driver’s breath alcohol content was at the scene, but I remember that he was extremely intoxicated. The driver was trying desperately to light a cigarette as I made my approach but he couldn’t (sometimes people will light up and smoke a cigarette hoping to mask the smell of alcohol). There was a bottle of vodka lying on the passenger side floor. He had been drinking vodka at home, ran out of vodka, and went to the liquor store for another bottle. His vehicle was towed and he was taken into custody and later transported to jail on Operating While Intoxicated charges.

I am certain that if I had driven the posted speed limit at that time, I would not have caught up with that vehicle until he likely collided with something or someone. And then instead I would have been working an automobile crash and hoping that no one was injured.

So, Guest Ironic, I would agree with you that it is hypocritical for a person to encourage safe driving habits and then to not practice safe driving habits themselves. But is that the case here? Law enforcement officers sometimes engage in driving activity that may violate traffic code, and yes, we have mobile data computers, radio equipment, video cameras, paper work, a shotgun, and emergency lights in our vehicles that may be distracting, but that I would argue are all necessary for performing the duties of our jobs. I would hope that other visitors of this forum would agree with me.

One last note: if you revisit the initial post, Guest ALLiED believed that having a ‘dashcam’ would have ‘come in handy a few times’ in previous accidents that he/she had been involved in. It was my opinion that the risk associated with having such a distraction on the dash was not worth the benefit that ALLiED was anticipating, which was simply capturing his/her involvement in a possible future accident.

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