Sgt. Mark Baker
Minnesota State Patrol
Q: My friend says having anything hanging from the rearview mirror is illegal. Is that true? And if so -- would I really get pulled over just because of that?
A: Ah, the things people like to hang from their rearview mirrors! And suspended objects seem no longer to be limited to fuzzy dice, air fresheners, graduation tassels and garters.
Unfortunately for those who like to hang things from their rearview mirrors, all of it is illegal. Minnesota State Statute 169.71 subdivision
1 addresses suspended objects between the driver and the windshield. This statute states "no person shall drive or operate any motor vehicle with a windshield cracked or discolored to an extent to limit or obstruct proper vision, or (except for law enforcement vehicles) with any objects suspended between the driver and the windshield, other than the sun visors and rear-vision mirrors." (The exception for law enforcement vehicles provides for necessary speed detection equipment as well as video and other equipment).
Because this is a vision obstruction and illegal, people commonly are pulled over for this violation alone. Many of the crashes officers investigate are due to a driver not seeing another vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian. We have many visual obstructions in the vehicles we drive already, such as the support pillars and rearview mirrors. Any that we can eliminate makes everyone safer on our roads.