SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KSWB) — From dangling lanyards to Hawaiian leis and air fresheners, it’s common for drivers to have items hanging from their rearview mirrors. But is it legal?
Some may argue that having that keepsake necklace or retractable lighter attached to these middle windshield mirrors is harmless. California state law, however, disagrees.
In fact, Golden State lawmakers have explicitly forbid the obstruction of a driver’s view through the side window or windshield. California does not legally allow drivers to hang decorative items, pendants, face masks, or other objects onto the interior rearview mirror if they could possibly obstruct their view.
This rule is part of California Vehicle Code 26708 (2), which states the following:
(2) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied in or upon the vehicle that obstructs or reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows.
“Although hanging objects from your rearview mirror may not necessarily obstruct your view of the rear, a law enforcement officer may consider it an obstruction of your clear view through the windshield, potentially resulting in a ticket,” stated Berg Injury Lawyers, a personal injury law firm located in Fresno, California.
The law firm recommends that drivers “play it safe” by removing these items when driving in the Golden State.
Another wavering question on the issue, can you get pulled over or be given a traffic ticket for hanging items on rearview mirrors?
The answer is “yes” and “yes.”
Officer Jacob Sanchez with the Border Division of California Highway Patrol said drivers can be pulled over and cited for this, however, it’s generally considered a “fix it ticket.”
A “fix it ticket” refers to a correctable violation. These citations can be dismissed upon proof of correction being submitted to the court.
Proof of correction may also be verified and signed off by a law enforcement officer on the back of the traffic ticket or on the reminder notice, which then must be submitted to the court.
“If I stopped you and you had something hanging from your rearview mirror like a placard or big fuzzy dice, I would probably give you a warning and ask you to remove the item,” said Officer Sanchez. “If you had tint affixed to your windshield or side windows, I would probably write you a fix it ticket.”
Although you may or may not be pulled over for those items hanging from your review mirror, don’t be surprised if you see blue lights behind you in California.