Using objects or modifications in your vehicle that limit your view is not only hazardous to your safety and the safety of other drivers, it may also leave you with a traffic violation — whether it causes an accident or not.
Here are a few of the ways you may face an Illinois traffic violation for driving with an obstructed view.
Hanging objects from the rear view mirror
In Illinois, it is a traffic violation to hang or place any sign, window application or reflective material between the driver and the front windshield, rear window, side wings or side windows. This includes fuzzy dice hanging over a rearview mirror, dashboard hula figurines and photographs.
Tinted window films can be used in the windshield of a vehicle if it extends down no more than 6 inches from the top of the windshield. However, window treatment or tinting to the windows is not allowed in windows that are immediately adjacent to each side of the driver.
These tint treatments may only be used in the windows to the rear of the driver's seat if they allow at least 35% light transmittance, with a 5% variance.
Installing or repairing tinted windows that do not meet these standards is also a violation under Illinois law.
Snow ice or rain
The law states that no driver may leave snow ice or moisture on any of the windows if it obstructs the driver’s view of the highway. If you park your vehicle outside during the snowy months, be sure to have an ice scraper and snow brush on hand to clear off your windows.
Defective or impairing windows
If you’ve ever seen a trash bag duck taped to a window, you’ve seen this traffic violation. Windshield, side or rear windows that are either defective or repaired in a manner that obstructs the driver’s view to the front, side or rear of the car may be cause for penalties.
Exceptions may apply in some of these rules, depending on the circumstances. For example, a person who suffers from a medical disease, such as skin cancer, may need tinted windows to stay shielded from the sunlight. However, the driver or passenger must carry a certified statement or letter written by a licensed physician in Illinois.
- First offense: Fine between $50 and $500
- Second offense and subsequent offenses: Class C misdemeanor charge with a fine between $100 and $500 or ordinance to alter nonconforming windows into compliance.
If you have received a traffic ticket that doesn’t seem right to you, contact an attorney for Speedie legal help. An attorney can advise you on whether you may have been wrongfully cited and what your legal options are going forward.