Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Sgt. Neil Dickenson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Ask a Trooper

 

August 15, 2019



Question: I have a 2018 Jeep Wrangler which has a windshield that has the ability to fold down from the factory. I am just wondering if the windshield is properly folded down and strapped as per the factory design if this is then legal to drive on highway, county, or state roads in Minnesota. While I doubt I'll ever be zipping down I-94 with the windshield down, it would make it a lot easier driving between off road trails to not put it up and down, but don't want to break the law.

I could only find the statute that indicates that if you do have a windshield you need to have wipers. So it sounds like there isn't a law per se that says “Shall have a windshield on all road vehicles,” so I am assuming if the vehicle wasn't designed to have one (like a motorcycle) it’s not required.

However, it doesn't appear to specify what the rule is when you have a windshield, but the factory designed it to fold down. So the law is kind of grey in my mind and I hoped you could advise how the State Patrol approaches this law or rules for highway use.

Thanks in advance for any information or understanding of the statute you would be able to share!

Answer: We get this question fairly often, and it brings out some good discussion. When it comes to a windshield in a passenger vehicle, you are required to have one. Under Minnesota State Statute 169.468 it states, the commissioner has adopted federal motor vehicle safety standards, which is where it states a windshield is required (in the federal law).

For the purposes of your windshield being a “fold down from the factory” this is for “off road use”.

Motorcycles may or may not have windshields, but even when they do, they do not meet legal requirements, and a rider must wear eye protection.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave Duluth, MN 55811. (Or reach him at Neil.Dickenson@state.mn.us)

 

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