Californians rejoice! GPS units can once again be windshield mounted

For the past couple of years, residents of California have been banned from mounting their GPS unit on the windshield in their car. The law was originally put in place because lawmakers were convinced that the GPS units could interfere with a deploying airbag or obstruct a drivers view.

The new law, which goes into effect on January 1st 2009, was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger and permits windshield mounted GPS units in the lower left and right corners. Units mounted anywhere else will still be considered a violation, and drivers may be ticketed if caught (a $108 fine!).

The law is actually quite specific; GPS units must be mounted in the lower 7 inch corner farthest away from the driver, or in the lower 5 inch corner closest to the driver.

Of course, the new law was backed by some industry groups, including representatives of Californian car dealerships, a consumer rights group and even the California Space Authority who represent GPS satellite makers.

The only other state in the country that still bans the use of GPS units mounted anywhere on the windshield, is Minnesota, who currently have no plans to change the law. Alternatives for mounting your GPS on the windshield include using a self adhesive disk on the dashboard which allows the suction cup on the GPS mount to be attached, or a GPS friction beanbag which sits on the dash.