Can I be Pulled Over by Virginia Police for Hanging Items from my Rear View Mirror?

Under the Code of Virginia, it is illegal to hang anything from a rear view mirror in a vehicle while driving.

In particular, “It shall be unlawful for any person (i) to drive a motor vehicle on a highway in the Commonwealth with an object or objects, other than a rear view mirror, sun visor, or other equipment of the motor vehicle approved by the [DMV] Superintendent suspended from any part of the motor vehicle in such a manner as to obstruct the driver’s clear view of the highway through the windshield, the front side windows, or rear window or (ii) to alter passenger-carrying vehicle in such a manner as to obstruct the driver’s view through the windshield.

Virginia courts have interpreted this statute very broadly and have given law enforcement a lot of latitude in determining whether a driver’s vision is obstructed.

From air fresheners, graduation tassels, and flags to dream catchers, chain necklaces, and holiday ornaments, it is quite common to see all types of objects hanging from rear view mirrors and sun visors.

In Virginia, it is also illegal to hang a handicap and parking permits from your rear view mirror.

While it may seem common and harmless, by hanging anything from your rear view mirror, you are inviting police to pull you over in a legal traffic stop.

If you receive a traffic summons for this type of traffic infraction or another moving violation in Hampton Roads, be sure to consult with experienced local counsel prior to attending your court hearing.