Drivers need clear view past rearview
Is there a law prohibiting drivers from hanging objects that block their forward view from their interior rearview mirrors? Drive on any street and you will see disabled drivers coming at you with their blue-and-white disabled parking placards hanging from their mirrors. This practice significantly blocks their view of traffic and pedestrians. There should be a warning placed on the placard against driving with the placard displayed on the mirror. This is an accident waiting to happen because the driver cannot see the pedestrian stepping off the curb or vehicle proceeding from the right. If you are looking at the driver's eyes but can only see the placard, then the driver cannot see you.
Answer: Anything that obstructs a driver's view through the windshield is not allowed, including a hanging parking placard.
The law prohibiting that is "the old fuzzy dice statute," noted Capt. Frank Fujii, spokesman for the Honolulu Police Department. (Those of a certain age might recall the once-popular practice of hanging oversized, stuffed dice from the rearview mirror.)
Regarding placards, he pointed to Chapter 291-54 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, which refers to "removable temporary placards."
That section of the law requires a placard to be displayed so that it "may be viewed from the front and rear of the vehicle by hanging it from the front windshield rearview mirror of a vehicle utilizing a parking space reserved for persons with disabilities. When there is no rearview mirror, the placard shall be displayed on the dashboard."
Fujii emphasized that the placards are removable and temporary, to be used when a vehicle is parked.
"If a person is driving around with the placard hanging, that person could be cited for an obstructed windshield," he said.
In general, Section 15-19.30 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu prohibits anyone from driving a motor vehicle "with any sign, poster or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows ... which obstructs the driver's clear view" of the roadway.
That statute also says any nontransparent material or object should not be "suspended within the windshield area as viewed from the driver's seat, nor shall any person drive any motor vehicle upon the hood or radiator of which is attached any fixture ornament of any material which vibrates, swings or flutters within view of the driver of such vehicle."
To the security guard at Waianae Shopping Center. My husband and I took a drive and stopped there. I have fibromyalgia and walk with a cane. When I stopped at the booth to ask where the ladies' room was, one of the guards told me to hop into his golf cart and drove me there! Then he waited and drove me back to where my husband was waiting. Now that's service!! -- Betty Cooper/Visiting from New Jersey
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