The taxi windscreen. Every taxi has one and it performs a simple, but crucial job. But what happens if you or someone else manages to damage your windscreen? What is classed as road worthy and what isn’t?
The windscreen of your taxi needs looking after. It acts as protection from the elements and an undamaged and clean windscreen is vital for viewing both the road and the environment around you. It is also an important part of the car’s structure and plays a big part in airbag safety in some vehicles.
However tiny the crack or chip in your windscreen, the golden rule is… do not ignore it.
It is far more cost effective to get the damage repaired as soon as possible, than to experience a totally cracked windscreen. A cracked windscreen tends to follow off the back of an unrepaired chip and then comes a far more costly replacement.
A small chip is repaired using an epoxy or acrylic adhesive that is injected into the damaged area. The adhesive seal further prevents dirt and moisture effecting the damaged area. Bigger cracks are much harder to fix, meaning you may have to replace the screen if needed.
A Damaged Windscreen Can be Considered as a Motoring Offence
Working in a taxi or simply carrying out your day to day driving with a damaged windscreen could be considered a motoring offence. Some police officers may see you to be driving a car in a dangerous state.
Upon further examination of the Highway Code, it states that all motorists should have a full and clear sight of the road ahead and the glass should be well maintained and in a good and sound condition. A damaged windscreen can obstruct the drivers view. If a driver is pulled over, it could mean a fixed penalty of 3 points on their licence plus a fine.
Drivers involved in an accident who already have a cracked windscreen could face even bigger trouble and could be charged with a far more serious driving offence. Officers may see the accident to have been preventable and be your fault, due to your choice of driving with a damaged windscreen.
A Cracked Windscreen Could Mean MOT Failure
Depending on the area and size of the damage, a cracked or chipped windscreen may result in an MOT failure.
According to the DfT (Department for Transport), if the damage is at least 40mm in size, in any area of the windscreen, your taxi will fail its MOT. The crack or chip will need to be repaired before being tested again.
If you are unlucky enough to have suffered damage in one particular area of the windscreen, a 10mm sized crack can result in MOT failure. If the damage sits within what is called windscreen Zone A, that is the section of the windscreen that is 290mm wide and centred above the steeling wheel, it is an instant fail.
It is also worth noting that you have to repair the damage BEFORE you arrive at your MOT. A damaged taxi will not be classed as roadworthy.