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Why are satnavs in a windscreen considered a distraction but dangling air fresheners aren't?

I regularly hear of people being pulled over by the police for having satnav and phones within the view of the arc of the windscreen wipers, but it seems as if every other vehicle has distracting air fresheners, toys, baby shoes and all sorts of distracting stuff swinging in their eye line hanging from the rear-view mirror. How come this is okay?

Asked on 21 June 2021 by Alan

Answered by Georgia Petrie
While it's not illegal to drive with items hanging from the rear-view mirror, like air fresheners, according to the Highway Code and the Road Traffic Act, drivers are breaking the law if their view of the road is obstructed in any way. Technically, the police can pull you over and give you an on-the-spot fine of £100 and 3 penalty points for anything that obstructs your view.
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