Thursday, 9 December 2010

Clear Windscreens

Clear visibility when driving is a legal requirement, yet many motorists have taken illogical risks, driving in the snow with reduced visibility.

The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended) specify the minimum levels of light that must pass through the windscreen and front side windows of a vehicle.

The limits are:
  • Motor Vehicles first used before 1 April 1985: The windscreen and front side windows must allow at least 70% of light to be transmitted through them.
  • Motor Vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1985: The light transmitted through the windscreen must be at least 75%. The front side windows must allow at least 70% of light to be transmitted through them.
These rules are intended to police a driver’s preference for tinted windows but it is arguable they could be applied to a motorist who chooses to drive without ensuring ice and snow are sufficiently cleared from a windscreen.

A fixed penalty of £30 can be imposed as a minimum.

It is down to Police discretion as to how they deal with the offence. However, be warned that, whilst the offence of driving with reduced visibility is punishable by a fine only, the police could decide to report you for the more serious offence of careless or even dangerous driving if you drive around without waiting for your de-icer to take effect.

A motorist can be faced with a prosecution for careless driving punishable by between 3 to 9 penalty points and a hefty fine for simply failing to adhere to the Highway Code.


  1. I wouldn't object to a public information service -such as this- to replace a few adverts on air.

    There just isn't enough emphasis on educating the public in such matters.

    Thanks for posting, MJ.


  2. Thanks for your comment Galsstec_Paul....I'll be posting more regularly in 2011 and answer questions in the Sunday Times In Gear Magazine so watch this space....