Obstructed View Tickets In New York

Published by 54 Comments

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.

Halifax, NS

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.

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This post was written by Adam H. Rosenblum Esq.

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  • Fitz
    July 14, 2019

    I received a VTL 0375 30 “Driver’s view Obstructed” travelling to Washington DC. I mailed in a “not guilty pea” and received “Appearance/Pre-Trial Conference” notice to discuss the matter.
    Is there a way to resolve the matter without the travel? Can I change my plea to guilty and paid the fine without travelling?
    From what Im reading there’s no points ?

    • Ronen Cohen
      August 7, 2019

      Hello Fitz, and thank you for contacting us. You should be able to change your plea to guilty and resolve this matter. As you have correctly noted, this is a 0 point violation.

  • Mitch
    March 27, 2019

    I received a ticket for something very similar to what most of the people here did – having an air freshner hanging from the rear view mirror. The violation is 375 30 and was issued in Harrison – Westchester County. From looking at the responses, the points seem to differ compared to 1213. So in my case, are there any points with pleading guilty to VTL 375 30? Thank you?

    • Ronen Cohen
      May 10, 2019

      Hello Mitch and great question!
      VTL 375.30 is a 0 point offense.

  • Sam
    March 15, 2019

    I just got a ticket for obstruction of view. The only items hanging from my mirror were my student parking pass, an air freshener and my rosary beads. Will the court throw it away if I take the stuff down?

    • Ronen Cohen
      April 8, 2019

      Hello Sam and thank you for your question. This ticket is issued for the items present at the time of stop, and is often given in lieu of a more serious violation. You may contact us if you would like to discuss this matter further. Please feel free to contact us at 888-883-5529.

  • Shiv Parikh
    January 12, 2019

    I received a ticket upstate NY in the Town of Romulus, Seneca County. I was speeding and the officer helped me out by switching the violation to Drivers View Obstructed, section 375-30. I understand that this is a 0-point violation however approximately 17 months ago I received a speeding ticket in NYC which my attorney is taking care of via postponing the court date so my insurance will not hike up. My question remains if I plead guilty to this violation, section 375-30 Drivers View Obstructed, will my insurance go up? I am almost completely convinced it would not due to the fact that I believe a 375-30 is a non-moving violation. Thank you for your time and help.

    • Ronen Cohen
      January 17, 2019

      Hello Shiv, your insurance rates should not be impacted due to this violation.
      Thank you for your question.

  • Charity Ippolito
    December 13, 2018

    37530 obstruction of view in wheatfield NY is this going to be points and a high fine or just a fine..

    • Ronen Cohen
      December 17, 2018

      This is a 0 point violation with a fine only.

  • Margaret Warner
    December 9, 2018

    I received a driver’s view obstructed ticket on the thruway in Westmoreland.
    Can I just remove the item, take a picture and send it in with the ticket? Should I go to court, or just pay it?

    • Ronen Cohen
      December 17, 2018

      Margaret – As this is a 0 point ticket, we generally suggest paying it rather than contesting this matter at court.

  • John peraza
    October 4, 2018

    I recently moved to ny state from fl i borrowed someones car and got pulled over and the officer told me my view was obstructed by a air freshner on the mirror i explained to him that insimply didnt know as i just moved here from fl i have had my lisence for 20 years and have a clean driving history and in fl was classified as a safe driver appologiesed and pulled down the airfreshner he still issued me a 1213 a citation shoukd i attempt to fight it and try and get it reduced i really dont want the 2 points on my lisence over something so stupid

    • Ronen Cohen
      October 10, 2018

      John – you may attempt to contest this 2 point violation. The procedures for doing so, however, would depend on the location of the incident. New York has two different court systems with significantly differing procedures.

  • Will
    August 15, 2018

    I received a ticket for Section 37530 “Driver’s view obstructed” due to my cat being on my dashboard.
    This is my first time being stopped by an officer for this and I rather disappointed get a ticket instead of a first time warning.
    Is this worth contesting in court?

    • Ronen Cohen
      August 21, 2018

      This is a 0 point violation, and as such we generally would not recommend contesting this in court.

  • George
    July 7, 2018

    I received a Section 37530 obstructed view violation in NY as I was pulled over for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.
    The officer gave me a break with the lesser non-moving violation. My understanding is that no points would be issued with a 37530 violation. Is this correct?

    My other question is: Will this seemingly innocuous violation be a part of my permanent driving record to be viewed by any officer in a subsequent traffic stop?

    • Ronen Cohen
      July 13, 2018

      Yes that is correct. This violation should not impact you for any future traffic offenses.

  • Sharon
    June 19, 2018

    For obstructed view tickets, does the officer have to state what was obstructing the view? If they fail to state this on the ticket, will the ticket be dismissed? My ticket only says “obstructed view” with no details. Should I just plead guilty and pay?

    • Ronen Cohen
      June 29, 2018

      I generally believe 0 point violations such as this one are not worth contesting in court.

  • jenn
    June 11, 2018

    my son received a ticket on his way to college. They pulled him over for no reason except for the area he was driving through. When they pulled him over they asked why he was in that area. He said he was on his way to school which was right up the road. they said he should be going down the main road, but he explained that he was late to his final and was taking the back way because of all the traffic. He explained that he could not be late to class, and then they made him stay there for a while. They came back with a drivers view obstructed ticket. I am asking what he should do? It wasn’t like they were going to give him another ticket and reduced it to this ticket. They couldn’t find anything else wrong so gave him this ticket. Should we fight this? I don’t want him having any points on his license or insurance.

    • Ronen Cohen
      June 20, 2018

      The ticket that was issued against your son is a zero (0) point violation. Barring a specific reason to the contrary, we generally advise against contesting these violations.

  • Rebecca
    May 21, 2018

    My son received a 1213 a ticket for having an air freshner the officer said he was doing my son a favor by charging him obstructed view instead of 38 in a 30. However it seems he still gave hi’m a 2point on his license. Since he has a class A ( a cdl ) and is licensed in MA. It actually is a big deal to get a surcharge. My son was visiting the area and didn’t see the speed limit change from the standard 50 to a village.. Why are some people charged 1213 b and some 1213 a and some 37530. This all seems slightly odd there isn’t a standard for them to follow. It happened in Sovna, NY a state trooper.

    • Ronen Cohen
      May 30, 2018

      Officers have wide discretion regarding the final charges they issue against drivers. It appears though that the officer gave your son a ‘roadside reduction,’ which is effectively a plea offer before the actual court hearing. While you may still contest this violation, we frequently find that plea bargaining is no longer possible after a roadside reduction has been given.

  • Lauren
    September 26, 2017

    I received a drivers view obstructed 1213a in Orange County New York. I was wondering if it had any points attached with the fee?

    • RLF Attorneys
      September 27, 2017

      Lauren – this is a 2 point ticket with a maximum fine of $150 + $93 court costs.

      • Jessica
        October 2, 2018

        I just got a ‘Driver’s View Obstructed” section 1213A ticket. Am I able to plead “not guilty” and send pictures that the view is not obstructed? Will I have to go to court in this case or will the ticket be dropped? If I plead guilty what are the consequences?

        • Ronen Cohen
          October 10, 2018

          Jessica – while you are able to plead not-guilty and contest this 2 point ticket, a current picture of the view in question would likely not assist you here. The issue will be whether the view was obstructed at the time of the offense.

  • Ahmed harb
    September 21, 2017

    Hi I got pulled over in the town of vienna ny , and I received a driver view obstructed 1213a ticket, all this over a small chain hanging on my my mirror, never thought I would get a ticket for this , I pleaded not guilty and they issued my 2 points on my license and 170 fine , is that right or are they taking advantage ?

    • RLF Attorneys
      September 27, 2017

      Ahmed – this is the correct fine for this violation. This ticket is 2 points, has a maximum fine of $150, and court fees of $93.

  • Dee
    July 5, 2017

    I received ticket for violation 1213(b) Pelham Manor, NY. I had only 1 other passenger in the front seat, however, I had 6 people in the back two people where in the laps of the other people. The description above 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. I was able to have full view of my front and side view mirrors. Can I fight this ticket? and how much will the charge be and points if I plead guilty?

    • RLF Attorneys
      July 5, 2017

      If you are certain you are being charged with 1213(b), I suggest you plead guilty to this ticket as it is a 0 point violation. While you may technically contest this, I suggest considering the cost of contesting this type of violation, with the benefit you would obtain.

  • Sarah
    April 23, 2017

    I received a obstruction of view ticket for a air freshener on my rear view mirror. The NYS trooper told me this was a non moving violation with no points on my license?

    • RLF Attorneys
      April 27, 2017

      This in fact is a zero point ticket. However, it does entail a fine of $150.00

  • Kelly
    March 10, 2017

    Recd a ticket in Suffolk county for obstructed view (1213A) . What are the ramifications of that ticket?

    • RLF Attorneys
      March 13, 2017

      This 2 point violation carries a maximum penalty of $243. Many times, officers will give a ticket such as this, in lieu of a more serious violation – such as a speeding ticket.

  • Temoor
    February 9, 2017

    Hi I just received the section. 1213 obstructing drivers vehicle. My trunk was open bcaz I have the cycle. I have the new jersey license. Can I plead not guilty? If I pay fine did they take my points?

    • RLF Attorneys
      February 9, 2017

      Temoor – Please clarify the violation code, as 1213(a) is a 2 point violation, and 1213(b) is a 2 point ticket.

  • Allyn Vineberg
    January 20, 2017

    I recently received a summons under 1213A for driving with a dog in my lap. The dog came out of his carrier, which opens between the driver and passenger seats. I was in the process of getting the dog back in the carrier when I was pulled over and issued a summons. It looks like 2 points plus a fine. Is this worth fighting?

    • RLF Attorneys
      January 24, 2017

      In order to provide further information, please let us know what the location of this ticket was, and where you are licensed to drive.

  • Steve
    November 7, 2016

    I just received an “Drivers View Obstructed” ticket in NYS (Orange County), under Section 37530. I had one of those suction cup devices holding up my cell phone. It was low enough (and I sit high up enough) where it only obstructed my view of the hood, not the road.

    Any way to fight this?

    • RLF Attorneys
      November 7, 2016

      Steve, as this violation is 0 points, I would suggest pleading guilty and paying the fine – assuming this was the only ticket you received at the traffic stop.

  • Jordan
    September 3, 2016

    I received a Uniform Traffic Ticket in Chemung, NY for violation of Drivers View Obstructed, section 37530. The police officer said there are no points, is this correct?

    • RLF Attorneys
      September 8, 2016

      That is correct. A ticket issued for driver’s view obstructed under 375-30 is a 0 point violation.

  • Francisco Colon Jr.
    August 8, 2016

    i was given a ticket for Drivers View Obstructed, due to a problem corner where you can see the Stop Sign. the officer stated he will give a ticket for Drivers View Obstructed, because he was assigned that location to give tickets. He stated that it will only be a fine and no points off my license. I need some clarification.

    • Adam Rosenblum
      August 9, 2016

      You will need to pay a financial penalty, but this will not add points to your driving record, nor will it impact your insurance rates.

  • Stephanie
    June 17, 2016

    I just got a ticket for having a car scent tree hanging from my mirror… Can I plead not guilty? I don’t see any other cars getting pulled over for this??

    • Adam Rosenblum
      June 20, 2016

      Obstructed view is a 0 point, fine only ticket. It is a traffic offense to have your view obstructed by any item hanging from your mirror but this ticket will not add points to your record.

      Rosenblum Law

  • Angie Torres
    May 23, 2016

    I recently received a ticket for Drivers view obstructed in Bath, Town of Steuben he said I will not get points on my License. Is that true? Also I am pleading guilty but don’t know how much is the fine. Do I mail it in and then wait for the courts to send me the fine? I just want to make sure I am doing it right. I would appreciate any help that you can give me.

    • Adam Rosenblum
      June 9, 2016

      Angie – drivers view obstructed is a zero point violation. The fine amount is set by the court, and is generally around $213.00.

  • James Pereira
    May 19, 2016

    Live in AZ passed thru Tullytown NY and was pulled over for obstructed view of a work badge on a string hanging off the rearview mirror. Tried calling the court and they said had to plead guilty in order to know the fine. this seems a little bit off.

    • Adam Rosenblum
      May 20, 2016

      James – this is a ticket for ‘driver’s view obstructed,’ it is a 0 point ticket with a maximum penalty of $213.00.

  • Josj
    April 19, 2016

    Got a obstructive of view cuz mud on some windows ..the original reason why pulled me over cuz the officer thought my muffler was loud but she was not sure if was mine or not her words .
    Then she said my windows were dirty never heard of this law

    • Adam Rosenblum
      May 2, 2016

      Hello, having an obstructive view is a law in NYS. This is a 2 point ticket with a maximum court fine of $243.