Fact Check: Hanging air fresheners can get you pulled over | WHEC.com


Fact Check: Hanging air fresheners can get you pulled over

Nikki Rudd
Updated: April 20, 2021 06:30 AM
Created: April 20, 2021 06:08 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— The shooting death of Daunte Wright in Minnesota is shining light on a controversial law in some states. It has to do with hanging air fresheners or any item from your rear-view mirror. Is that illegal in New York? 

News10NBC's Nikki Rudd did a fact check and found it is illegal. Here in New York, you can't have anything hanging in your vehicle that gets in the way of your view of the road. 

Police say Wright was initially pulled over for expired plates. 

"When the officer made contact I think at that time when he walked up to the car. He discovered there was a hanging item from the rearview mirror,"  former Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said at a press conference on April 12.

That's what Wright's mother says her son told her on the phone seconds before he was shot and killed by an officer.  

"He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror," Katie Wright told reporters. 

Several states have laws on this including New York.

Here's a look at the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law:

"It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle with any object placed or hung in or upon the vehicle, except required or permitted equipment of the vehicle, in such a manner as to obstruct or interfere with the view of the operator through the windshield, or to prevent him from having a clear and full view of the road and condition of traffic behind such vehicle."

In other words, it's against the law to have any object placed or hung in your vehicle. Basically, anything big and bold that would obstruct your view, even parking permits for people who are disabled. 

News10NBC wanted to know are people being pulled over for this around here? 

We reached out to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Officials tell us 150 tickets were issued for driving with an obstructed view in 2020. So far this year, six people have been cited for it. 

The cost of a ticket? Up to $150 dollars plus a $63 surcharge. 

However, according to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, if you show the items have been removed from your mirror the ticket will be withdrawn and dismissed. 


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