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Old 09-23-2016, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Car mirror requirements

I decided to check Vermont's laws on mirrors.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations

All motor vehicles shall be equipped with:

 Adequate shocks  Muffler  Tail lamps
 Brakes  Number plate brackets  Tires
 Headlamps  Rear-view mirror  Windshield
 Horn  Reflectors  Windshield wiper
 Lenses  Directional signals (if manufactured or assembled
after January 1, 1955)

All motor vehicles must comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards:


S5. Requirements for passenger cars.

S5.2 Outside rearview mirror - driver's side.

S5.2.1 Field of view. Each passenger car shall have an outside mirror of unit magnification. The mirror shall provide the driver a view of a level road surface extending to the horizon from a line, perpendicular to a longitudinal plane tangent to the driver's side of the vehicle at the widest point, extending 2.4 m out from the tangent plane 10.7 m behind the driver's eyes, with the seat in the rearmost position. The line of sight may be partially obscured by rear body or fender contours. The location of the driver's eye reference points shall be those established in Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 104 ( 571.104) or a nominal location appropriate for any 95th percentile male driver.

S5.4.2 Each convex mirror shall have permanently and indelibly marked at the lower edge of the mirror's reflective surface, in letters not less than 4.8 mm nor more than 6.4 mm high the words “Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.”


S6.1 Each multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck and bus, other than a school bus, with a GVWR of 4,536 kg or less shall have either -

(a) Mirrors that conform to the requirements of S5.; or

(b) Outside mirrors of unit magnification, each with not less than 126 cm 2 of reflective surface, installed with stable supports on both sides of the vehicle, located so as to provide the driver a view to the rear along both sides of the vehicle, and adjustable in both the horizontal and vertical directions to view the rearward scene.


S6.2.1 Field of view. When tested in accordance with the procedures in S14.1, the rearview image shall include:

(a) A minimum of a 150-mm wide portion along the circumference of each test object located at positions F and G specified in S14.1.4; and

From what I gather:

-I could legally remove my stock driver exterior mirror so long as I install a very small convex mirror on the outside on the driver's side which says "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear" and is at least 1.5cm wide.

-I can remove my passenger mirror so long as I have an unobstructed interior rearview mirror.

Am I missing something?

I use my mirrors a lot, so I'd want to replace them with something like this:

I have little experience with rearview cameras, but a resolution of 720x480 seems adequate so long as the image is good. Of the few old backup cameras I've seen, they've all have had terrible image quality, and I would not want to compromise my safety . Also, I have concerns about a camera's usefulness at night. Some of the cams on Amazon advertise "night vision", but I'm skeptical.


Something like this seems close to ideal, if it works as advertised. I worry about any product with engrish like "This Line Is Aircraft Grade Comrectors,More Stable And Much Long Lift Time It Will Be" though.


EDIT: After some thinking, I'd probably prefer 2 much smaller screens on the dash to the left and right of my steering wheel, over one screen.

I'd like some thoughts/opinions on doing something like this.

Last edited by Ecky; 09-23-2016 at 11:06 PM..
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is unfortunate that the person(s) at the "gov" called the outside mirror a "rear view mirror". Autos already have a "rear view mirror." It is at the top center on the inside of the windshield. And if the outside mirror is set up to see what is behind the auto, then it is redundant and of no value. The left outside mirror is a SIDE VIEW MIRROR. And if aimed properly will display what is behind you in the driver's side blind spot. It is used to see what is to the side and not quite behind the car. Calling it a rear view mirror tends to get it aimed to see what is behind the car, a task already being done. Calling it a side view mirror might just get it aimed so that it prevents a collision.
That's my rant for tonight.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The trick with a rear view camera is to keep the lens clean in bad weather. If you mount it where your mirror used to be you can reach it and wipe it off. I drove my Metro for many years without a passenger side mirror. The Xfi model did not come with one.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Think about putting a hood over the rear/side view monitors so sunlight never falls on it/them.

In addition to the engrish comrectors, the screens display views that are impossible. The quad view must have time lapse, the sunset is viewed from 50ft above the median.

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