Did You Know You Can Be Pulled Over For Having Air Fresheners On Your Rearview Mirror?
In select states, having that New Car Smell or Black Ice scented tree dangling from your rearview mirror can be grounds for a traffic stop.
If you’re behind the wheel in California, Pennsylvania, Arizona, or Minnesota and keep your car smelling fresh you want to be aware of this. It is technically still illegal in Virginia as well however, police can no longer use it as the reason to pull someone over. As an example of the language used in the law we’ll use Minnesota’s law 169.71:
“A person shall not drive or operate any motor vehicle with … any objects suspended between the driver and the windshield, other than: sun visors; rearview mirrors; driver feedback and safety monitoring equipment when mounted immediately behind, slightly above, or slightly below the rearview mirror.”
Basically, if you have anything besides a GPS, registration sticker, or sun visor “obstructing” the view through your windshield, you can be subject to a misdemeanor punishable by a few months of jail time.
While the intention of the law trying to protect drivers from having an obstructed view or safety hazard, jail time seems slightly excessive for hanging a $2 car accessory on your rearview mirror. Attorney Corky Goldstein spoke to Pennsylvania news Fox43 and said although that is indeed the punishment, it is highly unlikely.
“The word ‘substantially’ is the key thing that you’ve got to look for. I’ve never seen a State Police officer or a local police officer has pulled over anybody for a regular air freshener hanging in the mirror.”