University of South Dakota parking passes must be displayed to park on campus, but displaying the parking passes on the rearview mirror could lead to secondary road violations.
“Secondary enforcement laws only allow an officer to pull over drivers for a separate violation — speeding, headlight out, etc. — and then ticket them if there is a violation that meets the secondary enforcement criteria,” University Police Department Lt. Jef Rice said. “Such in objects obstructing view between the driver and windshield.”
According to state codified law, objects dangling in mirrors can obstruct a driver’s view.
“Objects dangling between the driver and windshield are a petty offense. It is a petty offense for any person to drive any vehicle upon a highway with any object or gadget dangling between the view of the driver and the windshield of the vehicle,” codified law 32-15-6 reads. “Enforcement of this section by state or local law enforcement agencies shall be accomplished as a secondary enforcement.”
According to the USD parking website page, passes can be displayed in two ways: hung from the rearview mirror or placed on the dashboard with the permit number visible.
If the pass is not properly displayed, a failure to display fee of $15 is charged to the car owner.
Rice says the parking pass is not illegal, but it could be a violation depending on how it is displayed.
“The way one chooses to display it could be a violation of statute if it is displayed in a manner which obstructs vision,” he said. “If the driver of the vehicle feels the permit impairs vision then they should remove it from the rearview mirror prior to driving.”
Sophomore James Rathjen does not see a problem with the display potentially leading to a secondary offense.
“If a person is being that reckless, then they deserved to be pulled over and issued a second citation in order to make sure it is safe for all of the other drivers on the road,” he said.
Rathjen said people should have a clear view when driving on the road.
“When people are driving, it should be common sense for them to have a clear view,” he said.