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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70708
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Driving, towing a caravan, is it legal to continuously use

Customer Question

Driving, towing a caravan, is it legal to continuously use a rear view video camera (mounted at rear of caravan) in conjunction with normal rear view mirror/extended caravan mirrors whilst travelling forwards? The camera view is displayed on a 3.5 inch video monitor mounted either on the dashboard or windscreen.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Jo C. :

Hi. Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this. Are you constantly viewing this monitor?

Customer:

In the same way I would scan cycling the interior mirror/extended wing mirrors/car wing mirrors/instruments/road ahead. I have been reading on blogs (where the 'real' experts/keyboard warriors are hahaha) and some are saying it is illegal to have a rear view camera working whilst travelling in a forward direction (i.e. they can only be used for reversing). I am considering fitting one to assist in seeing what is tucked up behind me whilst I am driving along. I prefer to get a proper professional opinion rather than the bar room barrister verdicts!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm not sure what you mean?

i have converted this to Q and A as I couldn't see your response.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The camera/video screen give a full rear view from the back of the caravan. In the same way I would cycle scanning the interior mirror/extended wing mirrors/car wing mirrors/instruments/road ahead, I would additionally scan the small video screen that gives me a unrestricted view of the traffic behind me. I have been reading on blogs (where the 'real' experts/keyboard warriors are hahaha) and some are saying it is illegal to have a rear view camera working whilst travelling in a forward direction (i.e. they can only be used for reversing). I am considering fitting one to assist in seeing what is tucked up behind me whilst I am driving along. I prefer to get a proper professional opinion rather than the bar room barrister verdicts!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Which reviews are you looking at and I will have a look at them?

Clearly cameras are intended for reversing use but that doesn't mean they cannot be running otherwise.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They are not reviews, as such, just the usual keyboard warriors on, say, The Caravan Club bulletin boards, telling folks who use them that they are illegal. This is a common theme on bulletin boards where some people feel the need to express their opinions based purely on their own feelings, and not on facts. The reviews of the actual cameras are absolutely fine, covering just how they function. It is the legal point about whether a rear view camera can legally be in continuous use when driving forward (but not replacing the legal requirement for rearward vision in mirrors past the caravan/trailer). The cameras are marketed as 'rear view cameras', but strangely the manuals that come with them only talk about 'reversing cameras'. The product I am looking at is at www.trailervision.co.uk

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

I will have a look now.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

have you had a chance to review this yet please?


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I did respond to this. I don't know why it didn't upload. I will see if I saved it.

Sorry about this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for the delay. Clearly a site glitch! I didn't save my answer but this is basically what was said.

These are not illegal to install or use either whilst driving forward or reversing. There is no legislation that prevents it per se.

However, if there is no other rear view mirror, they are not sufficient for MOT purposes as the legislation requires a mirror.

There is another issue. That is that this could be considered a distraction if you are using one instead of a rear view mirror and therefore you could possibly get prosecuted by a vigilant police officer for driving without due care and attention. That will depends on where the screen was located.

If you locate it in the windscreen area, that creates a problem because you are obstructing that area. If you locate it elsewhere, it is a distraction and you face being prosecuted driving without due care and attention.

You would certainly be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention if you are watching a video TV screen with entertainment on or even having it playing with you not watching. You would have to prove that this one was not capable of watching entertainment

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jo. The location in the windscreen area is an interesting point as most satnavs come with a windscreen/or dashboard mount so that you can look at it without moving your eyes too far from the road. Can I assume that strictly, as the law stands, the satnav comes into the same bracket as the rear view camera?


 


It is also worth noting how many bits of kit the police cars have on the dashboard/attached to the windscreen (sometimes). Are the Police subject to the same criteria as us mere mortals, or do they get special dispensation (as in using hand held comms devices whilst driving, as seen on the TV programs they sell to the networks)?


 


Thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, and I do agree with you about sat navs.

The police are subject to the same requirements but obviously people tend not to argue with panda vehicles.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for that Jo - you have confirmed what I have picked up by Googling/reading, but at least I know a proper legal mind has looked at it for me. I will close with an 'Excellent'.


 


Ron

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/