Driving in New York – An Obstructed View


In a departure, we have made this – our 50th entry – a video entry. The topic is Section 375(30) of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law. This statute forbids operating a vehicle with an ‘obstructed view’.

We referred to some judicial opinions in the video, without citing them by name. We’re providing links to some of those opinions below.

People v. Lew was a decision declaring Section 375(30) unconstitutional. (As noted in the video, however, you shouldn’t count on any court following that opinion).

People v. O’Hare was decided by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in 2010. The court ruled that an air freshener, hanging at dashboard level, having been suspended from the rear-view mirror by a string one-tenth of an inch thick, did not violate Section 375(30).

We were unable to find a free link to Commonwealth v. Penn, the Virginia decision that described an air freshener hanging from a rear-view mirror as a ‘stop me if you want to’ sign. The citation for the opinion, if you want to look it up in a law library, is 61 Va. Cir. 25 (Circuit Court, City of Winchester 2003).

State v. Barrow found that a pair of miniature boxing gloves, measuring 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, would ‘materially’ obstruct a driver’s view.

The principle that multiple air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror warrants a ticket – and enhanced scrutiny – comes from a 2001 Ontario County Court opinion, People v. Glover. We must regretfully report that we are unable to provide a link to this decision, either. The only cite we can provide is 2001 NY Slip Op. 40089(U) (for ‘unreported’).

We hope you found (or find) the video enjoyable and informative.