Ask LH: Can The Police Bust Me For My Phone Cradle?

Hi Lifehacker, I was pulled over by the police the other day for a random breath test, and was told that I was not allowed to have a phone/cradle hooked up to my windscreen. According to the police, there is legislation that prohibits anything on the windscreen that limits the driver’s view of the road. It sounds a bit strange to me, considering most legally purchased phone cradles, for GPS purposes, are suction-mounted to windscreens. Is this the law? Thanks, Full Vision

Phone holder picture from Shutterstock

Dear FV,

The laws surrounding screen mounts vary a little depending on the state that you’re in, and that’s something that we’ve covered here at Lifehacker previously. Most states do allow for the general use of hands-free cradles as a basic safety measure, but that has to be tempered against the fact that it’s clearly going to be dangerous to have a screen mounted cradle in a position that actively interferes with your field of vision.

I can’t see anything from a legal position that states it’s an absolute no-no, but common sense should take precedence, and that may have been what the police in this case were alluding to. Anecdotally I’ve seen a few folk use cradles more or less directly in front of steering wheels, and that’s a very bad idea indeed.


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