Cop Talk: Don't hang anything on rearview mirrorQ: When is it OK to have an object hanging from the rearview mirror of my vehicle?
By: Officer Jim Gripne, Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Echo Press
Q: When is it OK to have an object hanging from the rearview mirror of my vehicle?
A: This question is one that frequently comes up and is addressed in Minnesota State Statute 169.71. The statute says:
MSS 169.71 Subdivision 1. Prohibitions generally; exceptions
(a) A person shall not drive or operate any motor vehicle with:
(2) any objects suspended between the driver and the windshield, other than:
(i) sun visors;
(ii) rearview mirrors;
(iii) driver feedback and safety-monitoring equipment when mounted immediately behind, slightly above, or slightly below the rearview mirror;
(iv) global positioning systems or navigation systems when mounted or located near the bottommost portion of the windshield; and
(v) electronic toll collection devices; or
(3) any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, sidewings, or side or rear windows of the vehicle, other than a certificate or other paper required to be so displayed by law or authorized by the state director of the Division of Emergency Management or the commissioner of public safety.
So, what does that mean? There can be no objects suspended between the driver of the vehicle and the windshield except sun visors, rearview mirrors, electronic toll collection devices, driver feedback and safety-monitoring equipment when mounted immediately behind, slightly above or slightly below the rearview mirror or a GPS unit when it is mounted near the bottommost portion of the windshield. Or, in other words, nothing is to be hanging from the rearview mirror while the vehicle is being driven on a roadway.
There are obviously items that are built for hanging from the rearview mirror, such as various parking permits. The statute says nothing can be suspended while the vehicle is being operated, so that means they should not be placed on the rearview mirror until the vehicle is parked.
This law is in place to keep the driver’s vision as unobstructed as possible and help ensure that our roadways are as safe as they can be.
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