Vehicle fines can be a hassle. While most have gotten a parking or speeding ticket before, they might not be as familiar with fines specifically related to their windshield. There are several fines one can incur if a windshield is not properly maintained, and they can mean different things for your insurance.
Why would a get a ticket for my windshield?
Most of the time, a windshield fine will be issued because of an obstructed view.
What is windshield obstruction and what causes an obstructed view? Anything that can be described as something that “materially obstructs the view of the driver” and is in most cases attached to the rear-view mirror or on the dashboard. This can include:
- Cracks, or chips in the windshield
- Fuzzy dice
- Air Fresheners
- Objects on the dashboard
- Stickers on the window
- Windshield tint
Is my windshield at risk of violating the obstructed windshield law?
Each state has their own set of laws regarding the proper and legal use of windshield stickers and how to avoid windshield obstruction. To be safe, make sure you can see clearly through the windshield at all times.
If you want to avoid getting a ticket for an obstructed view, then you should abide by the law that states clearly (and is altered slightly state to state) that no person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield which materially obstructs, obscures, or impairs a driver’s clear view of the road. To be safe, it’s best to avoid affixing anything to the windshield other than the standard sun visors, rear-view mirrors, or electronic toll collecting devices.
There are several ways to reduce your risk for a windshield fine, and keep your vehicle safe at the same time. Inspect your vehicle for any of the above mentioned items that could potentially obstruct your view of the road. Always check your windshield to make sure it is free of cracks or chips, and make sure nothing is hanging from the mirror.
Any crack larger than one inch in diameter can not only obstruct the view of the road, but can be dangerous primarily because they can lead to more serious windshield damage, or compromise the safety of the vehicle in the event of an accident. The best course of action would be to make sure the crack or chip is repaired as soon as possible.
Additionally, window tints can be used as a reason for an obstructed view ticket. If you have tinted windows, and a tinted windshield, it’s important to check your local state laws to make sure you are in compliance with the laws.
What happens if I get a ticket for an obstructed windshield?
These are most commonly between $50 and $100. Depending on your state, the officer may issue a “notice to correct” for a first offense. While this is not a ticket, it means you should take steps to correct the problem as soon as you can. The second time around they might not be so lenient.
Depending on your state, you may get points against your license if you fail to correct the problem. Diving with an obstructed view is considered a moving violation, and not a standing violation, which places it in the category of a speeding ticket, and not a parking ticket. In some states, the violation is a simple fine, while others require traffic court. The best course of action is to check the back of the issued ticket for instructions on how to proceed, and to correct the problem.
When in doubt, always make sure you have a clear view of the road, and make every effort to drive safely and responsibly.
If you have a cracked windshield that needs fixing, contact Safelite for quick repairs to help you avoid a ticket for an obstructed windshield.