Could An In-Car Air Freshener Cost You £1,000?

Tue 6th Aug 2019

If your air-freshener is hanging from your rear view mirror, it could cost you a large fine and even see points added to your licence?
A report in The Sun claims that a range of items which could potentially obstruct a driver’s view could be deemed in contravention of the Road Traffic Act and the Highway Code. Whilst MOT centres are technically not allowed to pass a car that has items hanging from the rear view mirror, the Government advice states that drivers must check that the ‘view of the road is clear of any stickers, toys or air fresheners’.

Speaking to thesun.co.uk, Rebecca Ashton, IAM RoadSmart head of driver behaviour, said: "Anything hanging from the rear-view mirror or anything placed on the windscreen could restrict the drivers view, things people use tend to vary from air fresheners and dice hanging from the mirror to fans, large sat-navs and even using the navigation on an iPad.

"Missing something because you had something obscuring your view could potentially be extremely dangerous, good driving involves exceptional observation skills, seeing things early allows you to anticipate and plan how you deal with hazards.

"We would suggest it is placed low on the windscreen, on the right hand side and if possible within the area where the windscreen wipers don’t clear. The main thing to remember is you should always try to avoid the drivers field of vision."

Though the ruling may seem a little draconian, there is a precedent which was set in 2008 when a taxi-driver was involved in a fatal collision and was fined after police found a furry dice and two air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror.