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What is a dashboard camera?

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

In-vehicle cameras are also known as car or truck dash cams, fleet dash cams or dashcams. Most of these cameras face forward, pointing out from behind the windshield glass so that the video image corresponds to the driver’s view. Certain systems can have a multi-camera setup, allowing others to face at the driver, or on each side of the vehicle.


Dashcams, or in-vehicle camera systems, are video recording devices that are often paired with sensors, and attached to the vehicle dashboard, the inside of the windshield or nearly any surface. Dashboard cameras are usually powered by the vehicle’s electrical system, and can be manually switched on/off, automatically activated or switched on via the vehicle’s ignition system.

In-vehicle camera benefits for fleets

Integrated camera solutions have become an aftermarket accessory in private automobiles but the devices are gaining popularity in commercial vehicles, for fleet management, risk avoidance and driver monitoring.

Truck incidents and traffic violations are a major expense for a vehicle fleet of any size, and video recording of driver behaviour can help fleet managers recognise unsafe driving practices and develop additional training to keep down these costs.

Integrated camera footage is useful if other parties dispute what happened and who may be at fault. These devices have proved valuable in settling litigation and avoiding potentially expensive judgments.

Dashboard camera benefits for drivers

In the same way that dashboard camera video protects vehicle fleets, the visual record of driver performance can help safeguard the driver against claims of fault or negligence. 

When vehicle telematics record an instance of rough driving behaviour such as harsh braking or sharp acceleration, the video file can show why the driver executed these manoeuvres – for instance, to avoid an impending collision – to protect a driver’s favourable scorecard and standing with an employer.

Dashcam camera legality

In-vehicle cameras are legal in all parts of New Zealand and are highly regarded by insurance companies and enforcement agencies, as it provides strong physical evidence to support your claims. However, extra caution must be applied when using in-vehicle cameras, as they must not be used to film private encounters such as recording conversations without the consent of the individual.

Furthermore, if a driver is employed by the organisation installing an in-vehicle camera, owners or managers should make obtaining driver consent a part of the hiring process.