Driving While Your View Or Control Is Obstructed
Not too long ago there was public outcry when celebrity pop star Britney Spears drove her car with her baby in her lap. Obviously it was appalling that a mother would put her child’s life in danger in such a way however the bigger issue was that both Ms. Spears and her child were in danger.
Every day, drivers are found doing dangerous things behind the wheel, whether it’s eating while driving, talking on a cell phone or driving with one foot out the window. Many times drivers have pets loose in their vehicle and allow the pet to jump on their lap while driving. In other situations drivers try and fit four people in the front seat while they are driving.
What Does The Law Say About Obstruction of Driver’s View Or Driving Mechanism?
Many of these bad habits behind the wheel can lead to a traffic violation that can cost you in fines, points and increased insurance rates.
Under Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1213 it is against the law to have an obstruction to a driver’s view or driving mechanism. The law states under section (a) of 1213 that no person shall drive a motor vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver’s control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle. In no event shall there be more than three persons in the front seat of any vehicle, except where such seat has been constructed to accommodate more than three persons and there is eighteen inches of seating capacity for each passenger or occupant in said front seat. In addition section (b) also states that a passenger in a vehicle shall not ride in such a position as to interfere with the driver’s view ahead or to the sides, or to interfere with his control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.
What Are The Fines And Penalties For Driving While View Or Control Is Obstructed?
For a first violation of § 1213 (a) or (b) the fine is $150 with a $93 surcharge and 2 points assessed against your license. A second offense within 18 months becomes a $300 fine and a third offense a $450 fine. There is a possibility of jail time although it is rarely imposed.
It is important to always use safe driving practices when behind the wheel. Making sure that your view to your front, rear and side windows are not obstructed can help you not only avoid traffic tickets but keep you and your passenger’s safe on the road. Often we get calls from individuals who are charged with obstructed view simply from having a car freshener hanging from the front mirror. Additionally, one can also be charged if they did not fully clear off any snow or ice on their windows or mirrors.
If you have been issued an obstruction of view or control ticket under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1213 (a) or (b) contact Rosenblum Law at 888-883-5529 today for a free consultation.