The car windscreen. Every taxi, car and van has one and it performs a simple, but vital job. But what happens if you or someone else unfortunately damages the windscreen? What’s road worthy and what’s not?
The windscreen of your taxi or vehicle needs looking after. The windscreen acts as protection from the elements and a clean undamaged windscreen is critical for viewing the road and the environment around you. It’s also a vital part of the vehicle's structure and plays a part in airbag functionality in some vehicles.
However small the crack or chip in the windscreen, the first rule is… don't ignore it.
It is more cost effective to get damage repaired quickly than experience a fully cracked windscreen. A cracked windscreen is often off the back of a chip left unrepaired and then requires a more costly replacement.
A small chip can be repaired an epoxy or acrylic adhesive injected into the damaged area. The adhesive seal prevents further dirt and moisture effecting the damaged area. Unfortunately bigger cracks are harder to repair meaning a possible replacement screen needed.
A damaged windscreen can be seen as a motoring offence
Working in a cab or simply driving around day to day with a damaged windscreen can be considered a motoring offence. Some officers could perceive you to be driving a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition.
Looking at the Highway Code it states that motorists should have a full sight of the road ahead and glass should be maintained in a good condition. A damaged windscreen can obscure driver view. If a driver is stopped, it can mean a fixed penalty of three points on the licence plus a fine.
Motorists involved in an accident with an already cracked windscreen could face bigger trouble and be charged with a more serious driving offence. Officers may view the accident to be your fault due to driving with a damaged windscreen.
A cracked windscreen can mean MOT failure
Depending on the location and size of the damage a chipped or cracked windscreen can mean an MOT failure.
According to the Department for Transport (DfT), if the damage is 40mm in size, anywhere on the windscreen, your taxi or car will not pass its MOT. The chip or crack will need to be fixed before being handed over to be tested again.
If you’re unlucky enough to have experienced damage in one particular region of the windscreen, a 10mm-sized crack could result in an MOT failure. If the damage falls within what is known as the windscreen Zone A, that’s the section of the windscreen that is 290mm wide and centred on the steeling wheel, it’s a fail.
It’s also worth noting that you must repair the damage BEFORE turning up to your MOT. A damaged vehicle will not be deemed as roadworthy.