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Old 10-07-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
KILLER74Z28
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State may lift ban on hanging objects from rearview mirrors

Funny, I have lived in Michigan since 92 and did not know this was a law...

State may lift ban on hanging objects from rearview mirrors

(DETROIT) Michigan drivers may soon be able to hang air fresheners and other unobtrusive items from their rearview mirrors without fear of getting a ticket.

The Senate Transportation Committee passed a bill Tuesday that would end the state's ban on dangling anything from rearview mirrors. The proposal would leave wiggle room in the law, allowing police to cite drivers with obvious obstructions, but permitting items such as rosaries if they don't block a driver's view.

The bill's sponsor said the state's blanket ban leads to selective enforcement.

"If you go down the road, about every fourth car has something hanging from its mirror," Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, said Tuesday. "Why would you pick one car to stop and let 100 go by?"

The State Police opposes ditching the ban outright.

"If you remove the ban completely, essentially anything goes," said trooper Chris Hawkins, legislative liaison for the State Police. "You could hang an 8x10 photo from your rearview mirror, and we would have no mechanism for enforcing that." Apparently they have not seen the Camaro’s rearview mirror…

The proposal doesn't spell out the specific size or type of items that wouldn't be permitted. So it's not clear whether things such as handicap-parking placards -- which advise users to remove before driving -- would be considered an obstruction.

That decision would be up to police, said Gabe Basso, legislative aide for Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac, the transportation committee chairman.

Basso said the bill's prospects in the Legislature are good. Gov. Jennifer Granholm's office said she supports the measure.

Jason Dobrovalski, 34, of Melvindale who has a peach air freshener hanging from his mirror, said the state shouldn't ban innocuous items.

"You see people with big GPS deals on their windshields," said Dobrovalski, a warehouse worker for U.S. District Court in Detroit. "That's more of a difference than a little air freshener."



MATT HELMS DETROIT FREE PRESS
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