The in basket: Beverly Romig said it irritates her to see drivers with handicapped parking placards dangling from their rearview mirrors as they drive.
The placards instruct the driver to remove it from the mirror when driving.
She asked about it at a recent AARP driving course, she said, and the instructor didn’t have an answer. He suggested she ask me.
When I asked if it’s an infraction to disregard the instruction, I drew a comparison between that, air fresheners, fuzzy dice and even driving with a dog in your lap, something that isn’t specifically illegal, but can result in a citation if the driver is obviously struggling to control the car.
The out basket: Trooper Russ Winger of the State Patrol here, says, “I am not aware of any specific (law) that prohibits driving with a disabled placard hanging on a mirror.
“I would say that it is a bad idea” Russ said, “to drive with any object – or pet – that might interfere with the driver’s ability to observe other motorists, make appropriate eye contact with other motorists at intersections, or identify hazards to safe driving. Specific items hanging from a mirror are not identified in any RCW.
“Any officer would have to make a judgment call when observing this type of thing,” he said. “If an infraction ticket were issued the officer should be able to articulate why they felt it was a clear hazard. More than likely it would be after the fact, when this situation may have either caused or contributed to a collision.”