Most people have done it - in a rush and running late to work, you've had at least one morning where you've hit the road before your windshield was defrosted all the way. You probably scraped a small hole in the window and peered through it until it cleared a little more. We all know we shouldn't do it but did you know there is actually a law against driving like this?

I reached out to the Duluth Police Department so they could set the record straight on what is and isn't allowed. Here's what they said in a nutshell:

  • No person can operate a motor vehicle if the windshield or front side windows are covered with steam and/or frost to such an extent that it prevents proper vision.

You can receive a citation for it. According to the Duluth Police Department, if you are found guilty of violating said statute, you will have to pay a fine similar to that of a speeding ticket or stop sign violation.

A few other things I learned about windshield laws while looking into the topic:

  • Did you know that your car doesn't even need a windshield? Obviously, this isn't ideal but nowhere is it mentioned that one is required.
  • Do you have an air freshener hanging in the rearview mirror? You may want to move it. You are not allowed to have any object hanging between you and your windshield. I guess you'll have to find a different place for it.
  • GPS devices can only be used if they are mounted as close to the bottom of the windshield as possible.
  • It is illegal to drive a vehicle if the windshield is chipped or cracked in such a way that it limits the driver’s clear line of sight. If you're putting off getting your windshield fixed, know that you are at risk of getting pulled over.

The moral of the story here: give yourself a few extra minutes to scrape all the snow off your car and defrost it all the way. It's part of the charm of living in Minnesota!

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