New Jersey Traffic Court Lawyer Explains Rear View Mirror Law

Many of us, I am sure, have a bad habit of hanging things from our rear view mirrors. I am not talking about parking garage passes and smaller items; I mean those things that hang down a ways from the mirror itself. This can be a problem and can get you into trouble.

New Jersey mirror law states, "[N]o person shall drive any vehicle so constructed, equipped or loaded as to unduly interfere with the driver's vision to the front and to the sides." In other words, you can get pulled over for hanging those beads from last Mardi Gras on your mirror. As an experienced New Jersey traffic court lawyer, I would advise you not to do it.

Additional Consequences if You Are Caught

You can get pulled over for items hanging from your mirror, and the traffic stop could lead to bigger trouble. The New Jersey Appellate Court has ruled (in State v. Barrow) that a pair of tiny boxing gloves, measuring 3 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches that were hanging from the defendant's rear-view mirror, provided a police officer with sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop of the defendant's car. This stop ultimately resulted in the discovery of drugs in the defendant's possession.

The irony of the case is that the court commented that the tiny gloves may not have been large enough to support a conviction for hanging an object from the mirror, but they did provide enough probable cause to support the stop and the discovery of the drugs.

Keep the following issues in mind if you are considering hanging an item from your mirror:

  1. Be sure that your rear view mirror is clear of items that may obstruct your view for your own safety and the safety of others on the road
  2. Once the police have justification to stop you for one offense, that stop may well lead to other, bigger problems for you.

If you have been stopped for a ticket in southern New Jersey, please call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. In many cases, that ticket may result in penalties and spell problems that you didn't know you had.

Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.