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Is It Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windshield in British Columbia?


driver on British Columbia road with cracked windshield

If you enjoy getting off the beaten track and ripping down gravel and dirt roads, you’re probably familiar with having a chipped or cracked windshield. But did you know that driving with a damaged windshield in British Columbia is against the law? Here’s what you need to know.


Traffic and Vehicle Laws

Visibility behind the wheel is essential to keeping you, your passengers and other road users safe. That’s why the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act states that “the windshield or windows of a vehicle shall not be cracked, broken, clouded or otherwise damaged or defective so as to impair the vision of the driver.”


Here, according to the Motor Vehicle Act, are some glass defects that are considered to cause vision impairment:

  • A defect in the area extending from the left side of the driver’s side 500 millimetres toward the centre and extending over 75 millimetres down from the top or over 75 millimetres up from the bottom, excepting small stone injuries of six millimetres or less

  • A crack over 300 millimetres long in any part

  • More than two cracks over 150 millimetres long in any one piece of glass

  • Stone or shot injuries more than 40 millimetres in diameter

  • Two or more stone or shot injuries over 20 millimetres in diameter in any one piece of glass

If you’re caught operating a vehicle with any of the above defects, the traffic authorities could issue you a $70 fine and/or prescribe a timeframe in which the damage must be rectified.


Regulations on Windshields When Taking the B.C Driving Test

There are also windshield regulations that apply to road tests. The ICBC website indicates that if the windshield on your vehicle is cracked, your vehicle won’t be accepted for a road test.


The Importance of Windshield Replacement or Repair

In addition to avoiding fines and tickets, here are three good reasons to have windshield damage promptly repaired:

  • General safety. In addition to protecting you from the elements, your windshield prevents you from being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident. Plus, an intact windshield ensures the airbags deploy properly.

  • Protecting vehicle integrity. A windshield contributes to the structural strength of a vehicle. For example, in a rollover accident, the windshield supports the roof. If your windshield is compromised, so is your car’s crush resistance.

  • Save money. A cracked windshield worsens over time. A small chip that could have been a quick fix can spider outward into a full-blown crack, requiring total replacement.

Windshield Repair and Replacement in British Columbia

All-West Glass is your go-to auto glass specialist. Whether you have a small rock chip repair or need a complete replacement, our technicians will get the job done quickly. Contact us to learn more about our products and services at one of our BC locations in Fort St. John, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Terrace, Burns Lake, New Hazelton, Houston, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Smithers and Vanderhoof.

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