Rear-view mirror decorations a distraction?

Keeping an unobstructed view / file photo

When you get in your car and go, do you stand out? Maybe you make a statement with decorations hanging from your rear-view mirror.

The real question is ... are those decorations distracting?

We've seen it all, from fuzzy dice to graduation tassels. We've even seen the tiny bouncing shark in this featured YouTube video .

An increasing number of drivers are being ticketed for windshield and window obstructions, which can include anything an officer deems to "materially obstruct" a driver's vision.

In Illinois, we checked the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code and it says that nothing can be hanging from the mirror or nothing can be mounted to the inside of the windshield like a GPS unit.

"Its anything that will obstruct not only your front windshield but also your side windows as well," said Craig Hufford, an officer with the Quincy Police Department. "You can't have stuff piled up in your passenger seat that's going to obstruct your view to the side as well. We see people hanging multiple items from their rear-view mirror and that's a problem, but we also see a single item like a GPS. Nothing needs to be obstructing the view."

The same is true in Iowa. We spoke with the Keokuk Police Department and they say it's illegal to have any type of obstruction hanging off the mirror that would prevent the driver of a car from seeing the entire front view through the windshield.

But in Missouri, there is no law that governs this type of issue. The Missouri Highway Patrol does say things like that can obstruct the drivers' view.

Fines in Illinois and Iowa are those of a traffic ticket.

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