Who hasn't seen car fresheners, trinkets, or, in recent months, masks hanging from rearview mirrors? Even though the dangling masks are now a familiar sight on our roads, you could be fined $171 for the practice. Yes — one hundred and seventy-one bucks.
Many rules of the road are not well known to the public, including section 442 of the Highway Safety Code, which has been the subject of a lot of chatter lately.
It clearly states that "no person may drive a road vehicle or bicycle when a passenger, animal or object is placed in such a way as to obstruct the driver's view or interfere with the operation of the vehicle."
It's a lesson one Granby resident learned the hard way. His video of a police stop has gone viral on social media.
The motorist filmed his interaction with an officer from the Service de police de Granby (SPG).
The man in question was obviously not happy that the officer asked him to remove the scented tree from his rearview mirror, as it was obstructing his view.
"You're telling me that I'm not allowed to have a tree? [Something] that almost all cars have?" the driver can be heard asking.
"The law has been like that for a long time... That's not a [hook], it's a mirror," the officer retorted.
Since the law stipulates that no object must obstruct the view of the windshield, a mask or face cover attached to the rearview mirror, just like the freshener, could also result in a fine.
In a Facebook post, the Granby police specified that no statement of offence was given.
"In the course of enforcing the law, it is not uncommon for a police officer to voluntarily choose to use his discretionary power and decide not to punish all the offences noted," it stated.
Thus, the police officer on duty may issue a fine or a simple warning, informing the offender of the offences found.
"It is the job of the police to educate and inform the public of the intricacies of the regulations that are less well known to the public."
Contacted by Narcity Québec, the Société d'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) stated that it did not keep data on this offence, as no demerit points were issued.
This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.