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Windshield Law and the GPS Receiver

 

The article Laws | "Windshield Law and the GPS Receiver" on this website mentions the statute of Maine where "everything which is not forbidden is allowed.", with the comment "[4] An example of "everything which is not forbidden is allowed." No mention in the statutes regarding anything on the window, other than reflective tinting. Thus allowed."

But when I read the quoted Maine statute, I think it's pretty clear that it's in fact forbidden:

"A person may not operate a motor vehicle (...) if:
(...)
B. The front windshield is composed of, covered by or treated with a material that reduces the light transmittance through the window more than the original installation window"

The way I read it is, if there's anything on the windshield, no matter how small, that causes any less light to go throw the window than would go through the completely unobstructed window, it's already a violation. The law does not say how much reduction of the light is already a violation, which means that any, however small one, is.

It's different story how this is in fact enforced in Maine, and what the judge would find reasonable. But strictly speaking, the way this law is written, allows the state to give you a ticket for bird's drop on the window, if it has blocked a single photon.

Have to say

vrapp wrote:

The article Laws | "Windshield Law and the GPS Receiver" on this website mentions the statute of Maine where "everything which is not forbidden is allowed.", with the comment "[4] An example of "everything which is not forbidden is allowed." No mention in the statutes regarding anything on the window, other than reflective tinting. Thus allowed."

But when I read the quoted Maine statute, I think it's pretty clear that it's in fact forbidden:

"A person may not operate a motor vehicle (...) if:
(...)
B. The front windshield is composed of, covered by or treated with a material that reduces the light transmittance through the window more than the original installation window"

The way I read it is, if there's anything on the windshield, no matter how small, that causes any less light to go throw the window than would go through the completely unobstructed window, it's already a violation. The law does not say how much reduction of the light is already a violation, which means that any, however small one, is.

It's different story how this is in fact enforced in Maine, and what the judge would find reasonable. But strictly speaking, the way this law is written, allows the state to give you a ticket for bird's drop on the window, if it has blocked a single photon.

I have to say your interpretation of "covered by or treated with a material" that includes a GPS on the inside is just too far a stretch. I recommend you to not go into law practice anytime soon. Just my opinion.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT, 765T, C530

Thanks for the tip - indeed

Thanks for the tip - indeed law practice is not in the plans, and as I already said, it's quite likely that indeed the judge would find it a stretch. But I'm wondering, are you sure that all the cops in Maine share the view that it's a stretch? It's one thing to prevail in court and another to be cited by the cop looking for the tiniest opportunity to generate the revenue from out-of-state drivers.

Agree

vrapp wrote:

Thanks for the tip - indeed law practice is not in the plans, and as I already said, it's quite likely that indeed the judge would find it a stretch. But I'm wondering, are you sure that all the cops in Maine share the view that it's a stretch? It's one thing to prevail in court and another to be cited by the cop looking for the tiniest opportunity to generate the revenue from out-of-state drivers.

I agree with your point, that a police officer CAN cite you with having something attached to the windshield if he or she wanted to. One of many reasons not to 'cop' and attitude with them.

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Tint

Of course we all know that the law is intended for window tinting. Each state has it's own standards.

Here in Tennessee it is none for the front windshield except for several inches at the top, and 60% max for the back and sides.

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Lack of context and common sense

I'm no lawyer either, but it is important to read the entire thing rather than taking portions out of context. The title of §1916 is "Reflective and Tinted Glass". It's quite specific in its prohibitions. No reflective material on the windshield and no coatings - whether part of the glass or added after the fact - that make the window too dark to properly see through.

There is no mention in the Maine statutes regarding GPS mounts at all. In fact, §1916 is the only law on Maine's books regarding prohibited items on a windshield. Therefore, based on the concept I mention in the FAQ it is legal to have a GPS mount on a windshield in Maine.

Your interpretation of the law is excessively narrow and ignores common sense.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

Rear View Mirror

I guess I will have to remove my rear view mirror laugh out loud

--
ChefDon

This law apply to people

This law apply to people want to tint their windshield.

For a windshield GPS mount it's not a practical law. IMO

No no

ChefDon16 wrote:

I guess I will have to remove my rear view mirror laugh out loud

It said only what is not original equipment!

hahahahaha

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

I think it's just safest to

I think it's just safest to not mount anything on the windshield. One less reason to get pulled over.

Alternative

I use to use a RAM suction cup mount on my windshield to hold my GPSMAP 60CS, but after a few years, it kept falling off the glass. RAM even replaced it free of charge but I was still nervous about using it again. It's really unnerving to be driving along and then suddenly your GPS falls off the glass.

So regardless of the legalities, I decided a more robust solution was to hard mount to the side pillar. I have an older car where you can do this. Newer cars have side airbags so you can't do this anymore. But it's a great location with an unobstructed view out the windshield and the unit is rock solid. I even ran 5V power up to a DC power jack mounted in the pillar. My first mount was with RAM parts so when I took off the mount, all that was left was a 1" RAM ball that no one could tell what it was for.

Here are some photos:

http://i1072.photobucket.com/albums/w372/class757/Garmin/mou...
http://i1072.photobucket.com/albums/w372/class757/Garmin/mou...

Windshield law

I deal with these issues daily as an accident investigator and accident reconstruction expert for the last 38 yrs.

A police officer can pretty much ticket you for anything but it is often a stretch of the law. Having beads hanging from an inside rear view mirror is against the law in most areas as it limits forward vision. The same would apply to radar detectors and GPS units sitting on the dash. None of these are mounted or affixed to the windshield but still restrict forward visibility.

In reality, how many officers will ticket such? Sure, a radar detector is asking for a ticket and illegal in some states. Yet as long as a GPS is mounted in an area that would not obstruct the forward vision of the driver, it is pretty much a given that an officer will not cite one for such.

I keep mine mounted at the bottom of the windshield, midway across the car (virtually above the car radio) and drive about 80,000 miles each year without a problem and frequently have officers from various areas inside the car as we go to the sites of earlier accidents so they can explain what they saw there. None have complained about my GPS.

Thanks

mastershooter wrote:

I deal with these issues daily as an accident investigator and accident reconstruction expert for the last 38 yrs.

Thanks for your insights, and welcome to the Factory!

--
TomTom GO 720 (for driving), Samsung Galaxy Nexus (for walking)

Beads

mastershooter wrote:

Having beads hanging from an inside rear view mirror is against the law in most areas as it limits forward vision.

I don't allow anything hanging from my rearview mirror in either my truck, my wife's car, or my kid's cars. Even though the kids are grown and gone, they respect at least that. In a panic situation where you are trying to decide what to do, these can distract you just enough so that the decision will be made for you.

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

No beads

David King wrote:

I don't allow anything hanging from my rearview mirror in either my truck, my wife's car, or my kid's cars. Even though the kids are grown and gone, they respect at least that. In a panic situation where you are trying to decide what to do, these can distract you just enough so that the decision will be made for you.

+1
The constant movement of movement of beads or other items hanging from your mirror means you may not notice movement of something like a jaywalking pedestrian. I never hang anything from my mirror.

Contrary to a lot of people here I like windshield suction cup mounts and keep mine in the lower left corner of my windshield where it does not block outward view, but is close enough to make using it and hearing it easier.

Besides

A GPS mounted on the dash or suction mounted to the windshield is not limiting light coming through the windshield. The light travels completely through the windshield and travels an additional distance to get to your GPS. wink

And, I wonder if any of you have looked into a squad car and looked and all the distractions? Camera's, radar gun, computer etc.

--
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

Yes I have

Last Mrk wrote:

A GPS mounted on the dash or suction mounted to the windshield is not limiting light coming through the windshield. The light travels completely through the windshield and travels an additional distance to get to your GPS. wink

And, I wonder if any of you have looked into a squad car and looked and all the distractions? Camera's, radar gun, computer etc.

I always wonder how they can safely drive (and even see out the windshield) with all the toys they have mounted in the way.

--
Nuvi 650 and 1350.

Distracted Officers

pwohlrab wrote:
Last Mrk wrote:

A GPS mounted on the dash or suction mounted to the windshield is not limiting light coming through the windshield. The light travels completely through the windshield and travels an additional distance to get to your GPS. wink

And, I wonder if any of you have looked into a squad car and looked and all the distractions? Camera's, radar gun, computer etc.

I always wonder how they can safely drive (and even see out the windshield) with all the toys they have mounted in the way.

5 out of every 6 police officers I see driving are using a cellphone.

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Ymn

Ymn

I aint no scummy lawyer but

Last Mrk wrote:

A GPS mounted on the dash or suction mounted to the windshield is not limiting light coming through the windshield. The light travels completely through the windshield and travels an additional distance to get to your GPS. wink

And, I wonder if any of you have looked into a squad car and looked and all the distractions? Camera's, radar gun, computer etc.

One of my closest friends is an attorney. I asked him to interpret the law and his answer was " Only a judge that was on crack or some other mind altering drug would interpret the law to ban a GPSr on the windshield." Just for the record his hourly fee is $675 with the first billing period 15 minutes and five minute increments. However for me there is no fee smile

--
"Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Lawyers

Double Tap wrote:

One of my closest friends is an attorney. I asked him to interpret the law and his answer was " Only a judge that was on crack or some other mind altering drug would interpret the law to ban a GPSr on the windshield." Just for the record his hourly fee is $675 with the first billing period 15 minutes and five minute increments. However for me there is no fee smile

And I would hire a $675 per hour lawyer to get me out of a $100 ticket?

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

High Priced Lawyers and Cheap Tickets

That's not the point. The point is that no official with an ounce of common sense is going to issue a violation for a GPS mount on the windshield in Maine. There really isn't much else to be said on the topic, except this: the FAQ, by design, focuses solely on the law as written. Whether I say "yes" or "no" is dependent on the letter of the law, not what a law enforcement official believes the law to be.

Of course, if you're still unsure you can always contact a lawyer. After all, it's prominently stated that the FAQ is not legal advice.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

window tining

The only thing I can read into teh law is that window tinint is not allowed. It doesnt sould like this has anything whatsoever to do with GPS mounting on windshield.

--
Unless you are the lead sled dog, the view never changes. I is retard... every day is Saturday! I still own the StreetPilot c340, and the Garmin Nuvi 765t, but upgraded to the NO "recalculating", 3590 LMT.

And you would be right.

It doesn't. The basis of the OP's argument was that anything less than a perfectly clean windshield would be sufficient cause for a LEO to issue a ticket. The law doesn't support his argument.

--
"Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." --Douglas Adams

Tinting, not GPS

I agree with others here. I read that Maine law to refer to tinting of the windshield, not objects on the dash or mirror. This is the kind of thing lawyers argue over in court, though, so you could have an overzealous cop ticket someone for this and then have it fought out in court. It may already have been argued in a Maine court.

It is not unusual to find states or cities that specifically have tried to ban GPS on the dash or mirror in those locations, but I don't think this Maine law goes there.

I should have tinted my

I should have tinted my front even just a slight. But likely not allowed for the province of Ontario. I got 20% on sides and back of my car... Love it!

Front tint

pilothaz wrote:

I should have tinted my front even just a slight. But likely not allowed for the province of Ontario. I got 20% on sides and back of my car... Love it!

May be just here in Tennessee, but...

When I got my windows tinted by a aftermarket company, they also put a strip on the front top of the front windshield. Much later, when I got my front windshield replaced, the guy said that the tinting was too low to be legal. He showed me a white tick mark on either side of the windshield and said it was illegal to tint below that line.

--
NUVI40 Kingsport TN

Id tag

I was stopped for speeding, when the officer saw my volunteer id card hanging from the mirror, he gave me a break, and gave me an obstruction of view ticket instead.

So bad lucky.

You are toooooooo bad lucky.

Shlomie wrote:

I was stopped for speeding, when the officer saw my volunteer id card hanging from the mirror, he gave me a break, and gave me an obstruction of view ticket instead.

Cracked windshield

I believe the 1st picture shows a seriously cracked windshield, and as such, can, in Iowa or Illinois get you a $375. ticket and a tow.
I just mounted a round plate with clear silicon and suction the gps to that.

--
Harry to the Corps

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