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Old 04-26-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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Got a Ticket for not having Extended Mirrors

Pulling my 06 FB Se Safari with my Lexus GX470 from Houston to Orlando to see the mouse in April. Went 990 miles on a 1000 mile trip when pulled over by Florida State Trooper. Evidently my
Lexus SUV mirrors didn't give me enough angle to see 200 feet past my vehicle. Ticket $116. could fight it in court with proof of compliance with law. Or hire a lawyer to do so being a Texan. I know times are bad in Florida but...
So to clarify, what are the real laws on mirrors and distance you have to see? Does it vary from state to state? Who else has been ticketed? And what are the best solutions for add ons to SUVs?

Bought a cheap clip on mirror for one side ( I was halfway complying ) and almost ran 2 people off the road before realizing the huge blind spot now next to my car. Been thousands of miles now across many states and never been stopped for this one before. Guess I better pay the ticket....
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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Rich

That is just a real crock. He should have just given you a warning. Save the ticketing for serious problems like somebody towing a fifth wheel with a 1/2 ton truck.

I assume he means that when he positions himself 200 ft behind your trailer that he could not see your mirror, therefore you could not see him. I wonder how good he was at positioning himself 200 ft behind your trailer. How did he measure the distance? You could fight it but not realistically. Just highway robbery; and a learning experiance for the rest of us on the forum. Sorry for you.

Dan
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:39 AM   #3
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Sorry Rich, but I've got to agree with the law enforcement officer on this one. It's amazing how often I drive down the road & see someone towing a trailer of any kind without proper mirrors. Look down the side of the trailer when they are in front of you. You cannot see any of their mirror. Ever see on a big rig the sticker "If you can't see my mirror, I can't see you". The whole purpose of having mirrors is so you can see what's behind you, not just what's on side of you. I don't want to be a party pooper but I wish LEO would give out more of these tickets.

Ricky
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:32 AM   #4
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We got a warning on the outskirts of LA for the same thing and I pleaded with the officer to just let us leave his town. He said he was behind us for two miles with his lights going and we didn't see him. I then asked if he had the siren going and he got pretty defensive. So, we got a warning and got to leave.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:11 AM   #5
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So the officer is upset that you don't know he is there when he wants to pull you over. All he needs to do is drop back a bit and/or turn on his siren. Seeing what is beside you is a major safety benefit. I don't see a major safety benefit to seeing what is 200 feet behind you.

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Old 04-27-2011, 06:12 AM   #6
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I don't need extended mirrors because my '59 Tradewind has "See-Thru Safe Rear Vision" system provided by Airstream.

But I still hang the add-on mirrors because I can see down both sides of the trailer with them.

It's just common sense, even without an ordinance.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:21 AM   #7
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Each state has its own laws. It would seem our legislative committee at WBCCI could look into this and provide some guidance to our members. I do not have overly large mirrors and question the necessity to keep that much attention on something that has happened over 200 feet behind me. I mostly worry about the drivers in front of me and those passing me too closely. You really need to be aware of everything. Troopers out to just make money are another distraction. In Illinois you can not have a transparent cover over your license plate. That is a new one they are using to help fund the state deficit.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:22 AM   #8
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I think it's bull. there is nothing you can do about something 200 ft. behind you on the highway. You couldn't hit it if you tried. And you have no control over what it's going to do. Its one more distraction from what you SHOULD be looking at, which is in front of you, and alongside you. You know, things you can actually hit.

Should you be monitoring the airspace directly above you, too? You can't hit that, either. But a cop could be there, too.


Mirrors are good for some backing up operations, but most people I know look back over their shoulder when backing up. In any case, that's not on the public right of way.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:33 AM   #9
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If you can't stand behind your trailer, look down the side and see the mirror, it is not out far enough.
Perhaps a warning would be more appropriate but the officer is correct that it is an unsafe situation creating a larger than normal blind spot. Convex accessory mirrors are also necessary for safe towing.
The see thru feature of the Air stream does nothing to help with traffic nearby in neighboring lanes
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:37 AM   #10
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What, specifically, is unsafe about not being able to see immediately behind your trailer at 60 mph? would it stop something from falling off?
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:41 AM   #11
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With all the states in financial trouble we will all see more of this chicken **** law enforcement. I am sure the local cops have been instructed to do this. The need to make more money for the local government from tourists from another state as they are less likely to fight these questionable tickets.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:53 AM   #12
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What, specifically, is unsafe about not being able to see immediately behind your trailer at 60 mph? would it stop something from falling off?

There is no need to see immediately behind your trailer. This can't be done with outside mirrors anyway. There is a need to see all of both sides of your trailer, and ideally part of your tires also. Even with wide mirrors there is a blind spot as a vehicle comes up next to you that can only be seen in convex mirrors.
I have done hundreds of thousands of miles taking new trailers to dealers and experience bears this out. Particularly on multi lane highways.

I can assure you that no transport company would hire any one with out proper mirrors.

Improper mirrors are admittedly one of my pet peeves and were I in law enforcement probably one of the things I would be tough on.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:01 AM   #13
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Ya, just pay the ticket and get a good set of mirrors so you comply.
I don't think that trying to fight a safety issue will get you anywhere.
All in all that was a cheap ticket. And if you were involved in an accident and he noticed the mirrors, I'll bet it could have been a lot more and maybe even other tickets added on to it.
Count yourself lucky!
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:04 AM   #14
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Thumbs up Thanks RichHog

Thanks for the heads up! We tried adding clip on towing mirrors when we first bought our unit in 2004. They were horrible, as they vibrated and objects looked blurry in the mirror so we took them off. We found them to be more of a distraction than help. Now... I guess this will force us to try again. Any suggestions for the BEST towing mirrors?

Gail
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:07 AM   #15
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If an officer is following you for two miles with his lights on, and you don't pull over, you're lucky you got off with a warning.

He was testing your situational awareness and you flunked big time. You coulda got a ticket for failure to yield, sirens or not.

A set of extended mirrors costs about $50, and go on and off in about two minutes.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #16
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Sorry to hear about your ticket.
I think it is worth the warning but not the ticket. It is much too important to know what is going on behind you in traffic. So many times I have seen drivers coming up from behind who are driving wildly or who cannot stop quick enough. This is all part of good defensive driving. You need to know what's going on 360 degrees around you.
Those who cannot use mirrors and must look over their shoulders need to go back to driving school.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:21 AM   #17
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Any suggestions for the BEST towing mirrors?

Gail
We have a narrow TV and are using one of the most popular add on mirrors available. McKesh mirrors work great and are easy on, easy off.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #18
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Another point to consider is that even with extended mirrors that can see the whole side of the trailer we Airstream owners are still at a disadvantage because with a rounded trailer you still don't know exactly where the back corner of the trailer is when passing another vehicle. On a good day you can watch your own shadow in the mirror to tell when you are well clear.
Without extended mirrors where the back corner is is total guesswork.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:31 AM   #19
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What about using the backup cameras they offer at most auto part stores that attach to the license plate?
I got one for my mom's truck because she has a hard time backing here small "antiquing trailer" when she goes junking. They aren't that expensive and give you a fairly good wide angle view of behind you. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to extend the wires to go to the rear of the trailer.
And you can leave the monitor on full time if you wish.
Not sure how they would comply with the mirror laws, though you could see the 200 hundred feet behind you, not to mention the 1foot danger zone I seem to misjudge all the time.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:35 AM   #20
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Obviously Orlando being a tourist meca is loaded with huge RVs and is a great source of revenue for the state. I asked the officer if I could buy mirrors and send in the receipt and photos of my compliance and he said, "No you gotta go to court and prove it to the judge, or you can hire an attorney to represent you. " So for that part it is a money scam. But safety being an issue I do want to comply with the law. Does anyone know what it actually says and is it a state by state thing? I started watching other trailers on the way back and it's amazing how some of those huge rigs don't have extended mirrors. Wanted to argue with the cop and say that I was pulling an Airstream that's 8' wide and I can see down the sides to the back but nobody wins an argument with money hungry cops. On another note on same trip got pulled over in Mobile for trying to cross one of those 8 lane crossover streets there and got stranded in the middle and blocked 2 lanes while I waited to get across to get gas. Officer gave me a warning and a good safety talk about how many wrecks/deaths happen there. Never did he say anything about my mirrors.
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