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In Virginia can you get a ticket for having a star crack on you windshield with a valid inspection sticker? How long do you have to get it fixed?


A

We have read cases where Virginia law enforcement has stopped drivers due to a crack in a windshield. Whether your specific crack would be enough to get stopped you may want to ask a local police officer and see if they require you to fix the windshield or if they believe unless it gets bigger it will not cause you to be stopped.

The police officer you talk to should also be able to tell you if you are ticketed if it would be a fix-it ticket, meaning you would need to get it repaired within a certain amount of time, and if so how much time you would be given.

You mentioned you have a valid inspection sticker. Here in part is what the VA inspection manual says in regards to glass and windshield (19VAC30-70-580. Glass and glazing):

A. Motor vehicles may be inspected without windshields, side glasses, or any kind of glazing except that any motor vehicle other than a motorcycle which was manufactured, assembled, or reconstructed after July 1, 1970, must be equipped with a windshield.

Inspect and reject if (only citing pertinent parts):

3. Any glass at any location where glass is used is cracked or broken so that it is likely to cut or injure a person in the vehicle.

4. Windshield has any cloudiness more than three inches above the bottom, one inch inward from the outer borders, one inch down from the top, or one inch inward from the center strip. The bottom of the windshield shall be defined as the point where the top of the dash contacts the windshield.

5. Any distortion or obstruction that interferes with a driver's vision.

6. Windshield glass, on the driver's side, has any scratch more than 1/4 inch in width and six inches long within the area covered by the windshield wiper blade, excluding the three inches above the bottom of the windshield. A windshield wiper that remains parked within the driver's side windshield wiper area shall be rejected.

7. There is a pit, chip, or star crack larger than 3/4 inch in diameter at any location in the windshield above the topmost portion of the steering wheel except the two-inch border at each side.

8. At any location above the topmost portion of the steering wheel excluding a two-inch border at the top and one-inch border at the sides there is:

a. Any crack over 1/4 inch in width.

b. Any crack 1/4 inch or less in width intersected by another crack.

c. Any damage area 3/4 inch or less in diameter if within three inches of any other damage area.

There are various parts of the Code of Virginia that discusses Windshields. Virginia Code 46.2-1057 requires a motor vehicle to be equipped with a windshield. VA Code 46.2-1056 requires that safety glass be used in motor vehicles. Code 46.2-1002 requires that safety glass in a motor vehicle being operated on a highway be of an approved type.

Then the portion of the VA Code we believe you could be cited under is 46.2-1003 which provides that it shall be unlawful for any person to use or have as equipment on a motor vehicle operated on a highway any device or equipment mentioned in Section VA Code 46.2-1002 which is defective or in an unsafe condition. So upon the discretion of police in Virginia they may be able to cite you for a cracked windshield by writing it up as unsafe equipment.

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