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Q

Can you be fined or ticketed for driving a car with a broken or cracked windshield?


A

It will depend upon your state laws if you can be ticketed or fined for a cracked or broken windshield. In many states you can be cited by law enforcement for this as either a fix it ticket or a ticket associated with a fine for equipment violation. In some jurisdictions the windshield crack or break must obstruct the driver in order for a ticket to be issued.

For example, the Wisconsin DOT states that it is legal to drive with a cracked windshield depending upon where the crack is. It cannot be in the critical area (windshield wiper area).

WI Transportation rules 305.32 and 305.34 speaks about this issue. Section 305.34 in fact states that a motor vehicle windshield may not be excessively cracked or damaged. A windshield is excessively cracked or damaged if:

(a) The windshield has a crack inside, or which extends inside, the windshield critical area.

(b) The windshield has cracks which extend into any area more than 8 inches from the frame.

(c) The windshield has stone or shot damage with a diameter in excess of 1/2 inch in the windshield critical area or in excess of 1 1/2 inches in diameter in any other area.

To find out what your state laws or statutes say regarding cracked or broken windshield contact the Department of Motor Vehicles.


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