California Laws Concerning Rearview Mirror

Accident Attorney
California Motor Vehicle Laws

California’s law keeps you from putting anything in an automobile that hinders your view through its windshield. When you drive your vehicle, you should have an unobstructed view of no less than 200 feet highway behind it.

Many drivers have dice, air fresheners or a Department of Motor Vehicles-issued disabled parking badge dangling from their rearview mirror at the center of the vehicle’s front compartment. If these objects are too big, then these can land you in trouble for reasons obvious.

Location and Number of Rearview Mirrors

Under California’s Vehicle Code, all state-registered vehicles save motorbikes need no less than two rearview mirrors. One has to be on the left-hand side of the auto; the other one can be anywhere, provided that you have a clear rear view up to the aforementioned distance through each mirror. Foreign-registered automobiles and motorbikes are required to have at least a rearview mirror conforming to the 200-feet rule, including one attached to the left side of that vehicle.

Automobiles with Restricted Rear Views

In the absence of rear windshield or when you tow another auto to your vehicle, there must be two rearview mirrors, one each on its left-hand side and right-hand side in place of one at the front center. The same applies when you have loaded your automobile in such a manner that the view to the back is blocked. Remember, passengers do not count as a hindrance to it even when they temporarily restrict that view to the rear of your vehicle.

Placing Objects on the Mirrors

Driving a car with anything placed on it that reduces or obstructs your view through the side windows or windshield, is unlawful in California. There is one exception for things that dangle from these, but the test is regarding whether it hinders your view of the road behind you. Law enforcement people can stop and cite you if it is reasonable for them to feel that the object is hindering the view in any way.

Fines for Breach

Breaching the California Vehicle Code mirror provisions is an infraction that is punishable by penalty only. It will usually not add any point to your license. $25 is the base penalty, but each county in the state adds penalty assessments which vary among jurisdictions. It can be about $200 with that county’s added fees. If you are fined for breaching the California Vehicle Code mirror provisions, you can contact a motorcycle accident attorney to know how to proceed.

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