Ben Bloom Quoted In Autofocus On Dash Cams In Cars

Author:Mr Benjamin Y. Bloom
Profession:Minden Gross LLP
 
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Business and technology law lawyer, Ben Bloom, was quoted in autofocus on the legalities of installing a dash cam in your car in "Everything you need to know about using a dash cam in Canada" published February 28, 2017.

Everything you need to know about using a dash cam in Canada

By Simon Cohen - February 28, 2017

How hard is a dash cam to install? Can I share the footage online? Are they even legal here? We answer your questions about in-car dash cams

Most people are familiar with dash cams, the dedicated video cameras installed in all police cars, and, increasingly, in many private vehicles, too.

Designed to keep a record of what happens in front of a vehicle, they've captured reckless driving footage, settled insurance disputes, provided proof of theft or vandalism, and once, famously, netted video of a meteor hurtling through the sky.

As dash cam quality has gone up and their prices gone down, more drivers are wondering if now is the time to install one. We recommend it, but suggest you hear these technical and legal questions answered first.

What do they capture?

Unlike a GoPro or other consumer-grade cameras, dash cams are designed specifically to record constantly. Most turn on automatically and start recording the moment you start the ignition and record until you turn the car off. Most also have a microphone, and record audio unless you disable that feature.

The amount of footage the camera can retain depends on the quality of video you've chosen and the size of the memory card installed. Typically, when the card's available storage runs out, the dash cam will start overwriting the oldest files, so you always have a record of your most recent activity.

Do they use batteries?

Most dash cams have small, built-in rechargeable batteries. In normal operation, while driving, the camera gets power directly from the car via a USB cable connected to a cigarette-lighter-power-outlet adapter. When parked with the ignition off, the battery lets the camera operate in sentinel mode, with the ability to turn on and record short clips if it detects movement or noise.

However, if your car is regularly exposed to very high temperatures - imagine the car parked outside on a hot summer day for six to nine hours without a sunshade - you may want to buy a model without a battery, as those extreme conditions can damage batteries and the camera, too.

What does the footage look like?

This is the biggest difference between dash cams. There's variety not...

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