Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 12. EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES [24000 - 28150]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 4. Windshields and Mirrors [26700 - 26712]
  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

26700.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a passenger vehicle, other than a motorcycle, and every bus, motortruck or truck tractor, and every firetruck, fire engine or other fire apparatus, whether publicly or privately owned, shall be equipped with an adequate windshield.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any vehicle issued identification plates pursuant to Section 5004 which was not required to be equipped with a windshield at the time it was first sold or registered under the laws of this state, another state, or foreign jurisdiction.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 222, Sec. 1.)

26701.
  

(a) No person shall sell, offer for sale, or operate any motor vehicle, except a motorcycle, manufactured after January 1, 1936, unless it is equipped with safety glazing material wherever glazing materials are used in interior partitions, doors, windows, windshields, auxiliary wind deflectors or openings in the roof.

(b) No person shall sell or offer for sale any camper manufactured after January 1, 1968, nor shall any person operate a motor vehicle registered in this state which is equipped with that camper, unless the camper is equipped with safety glazing materials wherever glazing materials are used in outside windows and doors, interior partitions, and openings in the roof.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle manufactured after January 1, 1969, equipped with a windshield containing glazing material unless it is safety glazing material.

(d) No person shall sell, offer for sale, or operate any motor vehicle equipped with red, blue, or amber translucent aftermarket material in any partitions, windows, windshields, or wind deflectors.

(e) No person shall sell, offer for sale, or operate any trailer coach manufactured after January 1, 1977, that is capable of being towed with a fifth-wheel device unless the trailer coach is equipped with safety glazing materials wherever glazing materials are used in windows or doors, interior partitions, and openings in the roof.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 540, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1994.)

26703.
  

(a) No person shall replace any glazing materials used in interior partitions, doors, windows, or openings in the roof in any motor vehicle, in the outside windows, doors, interior partitions, or openings in the roof of any camper, or in windows, doors, interior partitions, or openings in the roof of a trailer coach capable of being towed with a fifth-wheel device, with any glazing material other than safety glazing material.

(b) No person shall replace any glazing material used in the windshield, rear window, auxiliary wind deflectors, or windows to the left and right of the driver with any material other than safety glazing material.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 900.)

26704.
  

Wherever the term “safety glazing material” is used in this article, it means safety glazing material of a type meeting requirements established by the department.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 723.)

26705.
  

On or after January 1, 1969, no person shall sell or offer for sale for use upon or as part of the equipment of a motorcycle any motorcycle windshield unless the glazing material used therein is safety glazing material.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1469.)

26706.
  

(a) Every motor vehicle, except motorcycles, equipped with a windshield shall also be equipped with a self-operating windshield wiper.

(b) Every new motor vehicle first registered after December 31, 1949, except motorcycles, shall be equipped with two such windshield wipers, one mounted on the right half and one on the left half of the windshield, except that any motor vehicle may be equipped with a single wiper so long as it meets the wiped area requirements in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Governing Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems.

(c) This section does not apply to snow removal equipment equipped with adequate manually operated windshield wipers.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 196.)

26707.
  

Windshield wipers required by this code shall be maintained in good operating condition and shall provide clear vision through the windshield for the driver. Wipers shall be operated under conditions of fog, snow, or rain and shall be capable of effectively clearing the windshield under all ordinary storm or load conditions while the vehicle is in operation.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

26708.
  

(a) (1) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows.

(2) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied in or upon the vehicle that obstructs or reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield or side windows.

(3) This subdivision applies to a person driving a motor vehicle with the driver’s clear vision through the windshield, or side or rear windows, obstructed by snow or ice.

(b) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Rearview mirrors.

(2) Adjustable nontransparent sunvisors that are mounted forward of the side windows and are not attached to the glass.

(3) Signs, stickers, or other materials that are displayed in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver, signs, stickers, or other materials that are displayed in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the rear window farthest removed from the driver, or signs, stickers, or other materials that are displayed in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest the driver.

(4) Side windows that are to the rear of the driver.

(5) Direction, destination, or terminus signs upon a passenger common carrier motor vehicle or a schoolbus, if those signs do not interfere with the driver’s clear view of approaching traffic.

(6) Rear window wiper motor.

(7) Rear trunk lid handle or hinges.

(8) The rear window or windows, if the motor vehicle is equipped with outside mirrors on both the left- and right-hand sides of the vehicle that are so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway through each mirror for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.

(9) A clear, transparent lens affixed to the side window opposite the driver on a vehicle greater than 80 inches in width and that occupies an area not exceeding 50 square inches of the lowest corner toward the rear of that window and that provides the driver with a wide-angle view through the lens.

(10) Sun screening devices meeting the requirements of Section 26708.2 installed on the side windows on either side of the vehicle’s front seat, if the driver or a passenger in the front seat has in his or her possession a letter or other document signed by a licensed physician and surgeon certifying that the person must be shaded from the sun due to a medical condition, or has in his or her possession a letter or other document signed by a licensed optometrist certifying that the person must be shaded from the sun due to a visual condition. The devices authorized by this paragraph shall not be used during darkness.

(11) An electronic communication device affixed to the center uppermost portion of the interior of a windshield within an area that is not greater than five inches square, if the device provides either of the following:

(A) The capability for enforcement facilities of the Department of the California Highway Patrol to communicate with a vehicle equipped with the device.

(B) The capability for electronic toll and traffic management on public or private roads or facilities.

(12) A portable Global Positioning System (GPS), which may be mounted in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver and outside of an airbag deployment zone, if the system is used only for door-to-door navigation while the motor vehicle is being operated.

(13) (A) A video event recorder with the capability of monitoring driver performance to improve driver safety, which may be mounted in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver, in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver and outside of an airbag deployment zone, or in a five-inch square mounted to the center uppermost portion of the interior of the windshield. As used in this section, “video event recorder” means a video recorder that continuously records in a digital loop, recording audio, video, and G-force levels, but saves video only when triggered by an unusual motion or crash or when operated by the driver to monitor driver performance.

(B) A vehicle equipped with a video event recorder shall have a notice posted in a visible location which states that a passenger’s conversation may be recorded.

(C) Video event recorders shall store no more than 30 seconds before and after a triggering event.

(D) The registered owner or lessee of the vehicle may disable the device.

(E) The data recorded to the device is the property of the registered owner or lessee of the vehicle.

(F) When a person is driving for hire as an employee in a vehicle with a video event recorder, the person’s employer shall provide unedited copies of the recordings upon the request of the employee or the employee’s representative. These copies shall be provided free of charge to the employee and within five days of the request.

(14) (A) A video event recorder in a commercial motor vehicle with the capability of monitoring driver performance to improve driver safety, which may be mounted no more than two inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals. Subparagraphs (B) to (F), inclusive, of paragraph (13) apply to the exemption provided by this paragraph.

(B) Except as provided in subparagraph (C), subparagraph (A) shall become inoperative on the following dates, whichever date is later:

(i) The date that the Department of the California Highway Patrol determines is the expiration date of the exemption from the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 393.60 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as renewed in the notice of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on pages 21791 and 21792 of Volume 76 of the Federal Register (April 18, 2011).

(ii) The date that the Department of the California Highway Patrol determines is the expiration date for a subsequent renewal of an exemption specified in clause (i).

(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), subparagraph (A) shall become operative on the date that the Department of the California Highway Patrol determines is the effective date of regulations revising paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 393.60 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations to allow the placement of a video event recorder at the top of the windshield on a commercial motor vehicle.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), transparent material may be installed, affixed, or applied to the topmost portion of the windshield if the following conditions apply:

(1) The bottom edge of the material is at least 29 inches above the undepressed driver’s seat when measured from a point five inches in front of the bottom of the backrest with the driver’s seat in its rearmost and lowermost position with the vehicle on a level surface.

(2) The material is not red or amber in color.

(3) There is no opaque lettering on the material and any other lettering does not affect primary colors or distort vision through the windshield.

(4) The material does not reflect sunlight or headlight glare into the eyes of occupants of oncoming or following vehicles to any greater extent than the windshield without the material.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), clear, colorless, and transparent material may be installed, affixed, or applied to the front side windows, located to the immediate left and right of the front seat if the following conditions are met:

(1) The material has a minimum visible light transmittance of 88 percent.

(2) The window glazing with the material applied meets all requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205 (49 C.F.R. 571.205), including the specified minimum light transmittance of 70 percent and the abrasion resistance of AS-14 glazing, as specified in that federal standard.

(3) The material is designed and manufactured to enhance the ability of the existing window glass to block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A rays.

(4) The driver has in his or her possession, or within the vehicle, a certificate signed by the installing company certifying that the windows with the material installed meet the requirements of this subdivision and the certificate identifies the installing company and the material’s manufacturer by full name and street address, or, if the material was installed by the vehicle owner, a certificate signed by the material’s manufacturer certifying that the windows with the material installed according to manufacturer’s instructions meet the requirements of this subdivision and the certificate identifies the material’s manufacturer by full name and street address.

(5) If the material described in this subdivision tears or bubbles, or is otherwise worn to prohibit clear vision, it shall be removed or replaced.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 375, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2013.)

26708.2.
  

Sun screening devices permitted by paragraph (10) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 shall meet the following requirements:

(a) The devices shall be held in place by means allowing ready removal from the window area, such as a frame, a rigid material with temporary fasteners, or a flexible roller shade.

(b) Devices utilizing transparent material shall be green, gray, or a neutral smoke in color and shall have a luminous transmittance of not less than 35 percent.

(c) Devices utilizing nontransparent louvers or other alternating patterns of opaque and open sections shall have an essentially uniform pattern over the entire surface, except for framing and supports. At least 35 percent of the device area shall be open and no individual louver or opaque section shall have a projected vertical dimension exceeding 3/16 inch.

(d) The devices shall not have a reflective quality exceeding 35 percent on either the inner or outer surface.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 74, Sec. 2.)

26708.5.
  

(a) No person shall place, install, affix, or apply any transparent material upon the windshield, or side or rear windows, of any motor vehicle if the material alters the color or reduces the light transmittance of the windshield or side or rear windows, except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 26708.

(b) Tinted safety glass may be installed in a vehicle if (1) the glass complies with motor vehicle safety standards of the United States Department of Transportation for safety glazing materials, and (2) the glass is installed in a location permitted by those standards for the particular type of glass used.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 476, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1999.)

26708.7.
  

Notwithstanding any other law, a vehicle operated and owned or leased by a federal, state, or local agency, department, or district, that employs peace officers, as defined by Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, for use by those peace officers in the performance of their duties, is exempt from California law, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, prohibiting or limiting material that may be placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied to the side or rear windows, commonly referred to as window tinting or glazing.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 171, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

26709.
  

(a) Every motor vehicle registered in a foreign jurisdiction and every motorcycle subject to registration in this state shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle.

Every motor vehicle subject to registration in this state, except a motorcycle, shall be equipped with not less than two such mirrors, including one affixed to the left-hand side.

(b) The following described types of motor vehicles, of a type subject to registration, shall be equipped with mirrors on both the left- and right-hand sides of the vehicle so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway through each mirror for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle:

(1) A motor vehicle so constructed or loaded as to obstruct the driver’s view to the rear.

(2) A motor vehicle towing a vehicle and the towed vehicle or load thereon obstructs the driver’s view to the rear.

(3) A bus or trolley coach.

(c) The provisions of subdivision (b) shall not apply to a passenger vehicle when the load obstructing the driver’s view consists of passengers.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 74.)

26710.
  

It is unlawful to operate any motor vehicle upon a highway when the windshield or rear window is in such a defective condition as to impair the driver’s vision either to the front or rear.

In the event any windshield or rear window fails to comply with this code the officer making the inspection shall direct the driver to make the windshield and rear window conform to the requirements of this code within 48 hours. The officer may also arrest the driver and give him notice to appear and further require the driver or the owner of the vehicle to produce in court satisfactory evidence that the windshield or rear window has been made to conform to the requirements of this code.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

26711.
  

Every bus or trolley coach, except those first registered prior to January 1, 1960, and engaged in urban and suburban service as defined in Section 35107, shall be equipped with movable eyeshades of sufficient size to shade the eyes of the operator of a bus or trolley coach while it is being driven facing the sun.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 661.)

26712.
  

Every passenger vehicle used or maintained for the transportation of persons for hire, compensation, or profit shall be equipped with a defrosting device which is adequate to remove snow, ice, frost, fog, or internal moisture from the windshield.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1601.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH