Sat-nav blocking driver's view

Could you tell me the rules about placing aftermarket sat nav systems in cars? I see them anywhere on windscreens including blocking the driver’s view. Yesterday I passed a driver with the sat nav at eye height right in front of her face! It seems that there are no rules to protect other road users from the driver who buys a unit and then sticks it wherever they like. They can easily obscure a biker along with anything of our size and must prove a danger? Is there no legislation?
James, by e-mail

Answer

There are no regulations that I know about that refer specifically to the placement sat nav equipment but I think the following are relevant. Firstly, Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended by Road Traffic Act 1991:

“A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, causes or permits another, to use a motor vehicle on a road when:-

The condition of the motor vehicle, or of its accessories or equipment, or;
The purpose for which it is used, or;
The number of passengers carried by it, or;
The manner in which they are carried, or;
The weight, position or distribution of its load or the manner in which it is secured;

Is such that the use of the motor vehicle involves a danger of injury to any person.”

Or Regulation 100(1) the Road Vehicle Construction and Use Regulations 1986 which says the same thing but attracts a lesser penalty.  It would therefore appear to depend on the Court’s interpretation of the word “condition”.

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