Most decals on windshield violate law
I went in for a safety check, and the station is using your Jan. 19, 2005, column to tell me that I can't have an Outrigger Canoe Club sticker way down at the bottom of my front windshield. I'm looking at the ordinance, and it looks as though you can put something on your windshield as long as it doesn't obstruct your vision. Can you clarify this?
Answer: "The law and rules have not changed," regarding where stickers and decals are NOT allowed to be placed, said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle & Licensing Division.
The column you refer to dealt with someone having to remove bumper stickers from her vehicle's windows before being issued a safety sticker.
Kamimura clarified that the law pertains to nontransparent decals, which he believes your sticker is.
"The key point of the ordinance relating to nontransparent material is that the sticker will obstruct the view of the driver in most areas of the front windshield," he said.
He also clarified that Department of Defense stickers are allowed by law, not by approval of the police chief, to be on front windshields.
The city ordinance was amended specifically to allow placement of nontransparent military stickers on the windshield, he said.
Under Section 15-19.30 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, Kamimura said, the nontransparent sticker is not allowed if it "obstructs the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway."
He noted that he previously mentioned the rear window area immediately behind the driver's seat and the side windows immediately behind the driver's seat as possible places to affix a sticker, "because, logically, placement of nontransparent stickers in those locations will normally not obstruct the driver's view."
But he advised that it would be "a wise decision" to seek permission from the police chief "no matter where you intend to place a nontransparent sticker."
Nontransparent stickers are limited to a maximum 4 by 6 inches in size, he added.
Under the law, the police chief is allowed to grant exceptions as to whether a sticker or decal can be placed on a vehicle's windows.
However, the Honolulu Police Department says only the military is allowed to place decals on front windshields, for security reasons.
The police chief has not granted approval for any other decal to be placed there, said spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii.
"The concern would be, once the chief approves one, who's to say you can't approve another?" he said. "The whole purpose of the law is to leave windshields as unobstructed as possible because it's a safety issue."
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