GPS Mounting Law – 511 Contra Costa

GPS Mounting Law

So what’s the truth behind the GPS law anyway?
Most people nowadays will have absolutely nothing to do with paper maps. What’s that? You say you’ve got a folded up map of the CA coast in your glove box? Well somebody probably spilled coffee or ketchup on it at some point and now it is illegible, because I know you’re using your GPS. How can you not–it’s just so easy.
In any case, sometimes new laws for the roads pass by us unheeded because, 1. they don’t show up on our Facebook pages, and 2. nobody really pays too much attention otherwise. Take for instance the old law against GPS windshield mounting. Before January 1, 2009, GPS windshield mounting was actually illegal in California with violators paying over $100 when caught. There was a law for that? Yup.
But seeing that people still used their portable GPS anyway, lawmakers made a smart move to lift the band, and after January 1, 2009, allowed GPS units to be mounted on specific areas of the windshield. Namely, within “a 7-inch square area in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver (the passenger side) or in a 5-inch square area in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver (the lower left corner of the windshield).”
So basically, the only place  you can stick your GPS is in the lower left-hand corner of your windshield (because it wouldn’t really make logical sense to put it on the passenger side, would it?). Putting the GPS in the front/center of the windshield is therefore still illegal in California and hence not recommended.
So now that you know the specifics behind the law, what can you do about it?
Air Vent Mount: Just what it sounds like. A clip-on for your GPS that attaches to the air vent. More of a solid installation, but maybe not so great on a hot day when you’re blasting the AC.
Bean Bag Mount: The bean bag adds weight and prevents the GPS mount from moving or falling on your dash. Perhaps not so good for rough, bumpy terrains.
Cup Holder Mount: Another self-explanatory name. (But where will you put your coffee!?)
Perhaps the best way to go about it is to memorize maps and routes like your grandparents used to do. But if that’s not an option, then just go with the bottom left hand corner of the windshield, and remember, when using your GPS the safest option is to just listen to the voice commands. They’re default for a reason–to help you stay safe. Keep your eyes on the road.
Photo Credit: LincolnBlues

0 thoughts on “GPS Mounting Law

  1. Regarding "…or in a 5-inch square area in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver (the lower left corner of the windshield).”, I drive a Civic which has a sloped windshield. That 5-inch square is so far away that the gps screen looks like a 2-inch screen.

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