My husband hates when I ask him for help packing our car for vacation because we have so much stuff to cram into the car, but I'm obsessed with making sure there's nothing piled so high that we can't see out of any of the windows. Why? Because it's illegal and I don't want to do something that would get us pulled over or slapped with a fine - not a fun way to start or end vacation if you ask me.

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New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, section 1213 states that it is illegal in New York to drive with anything obstructing your view through the windshield or the side or rear of your vehicle. In other words, you can't cram your car so full of stuff that you can't see out the back window and you can't hang anything from your rearview mirror because that would cause an obstruction of your view through the windshield.

Graduation tassels, air fresheners, cell phone mounts, and yes, even your facemask all fall into the category of things that would be illegal to place on your rearview mirror while driving.

Think you won't get pulled over? The simple answer is that you just never know. A couple of years ago one of my siblings got pulled over for having a cell phone mount on her windshield just under her rearview mirror. She thought the police officer who pulled her over was being ridiculous and planned to fight the charges...until the Traffic Law was pointed out to her and she realized she would probably pay more to fight it than to simply pay the ticket.

How much is the ticket? According to, "A ticket for an obstructed view means facing a fine of up to $150 with an NYS surcharge of $88 or $93 (depending on where the ticket was issued) and 2 points on one’s license."

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