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9 Apr 2013 | by Lisa Cockerill

Roadworthy Windscreens

What makes a windscreen unroadworthy


Windscreen damage or defects may impair a driver’s forward vision, create a potential safety hazard and affect road safety. However, windscreens will be subject to some damage such as sandblasting, cracks, and stone chips during normal operation, therefore some deterioration from new condition is allowable.

A windscreen should be clean and free of damage that might impair the driver’s view to the front of the vehicle.


Things which might impair a driver’s vision are:


  • the location of the damage;

  • the size of the damage;

  • effect on the mechanical strength of the windscreen.

    Is a damaged windscreen safe?

    When a damaged windscreen is examined the following factors should be considered:

  • the location of the damage;

  • the size of the damage;

  • effect on the mechanical strength of the windscreen.

    To determine if a windscreen should be replaced or repaired, the area of windscreen swept by the wipers to the right of the centre of the vehicle may have bull’s-eyes and star fractures up to 16 mm in diameter and cracks up to 150 mm long which do not penetrate more than one (1) layer of the glass in a laminated windscreen, provided they do not interfere with the driver’s vision.

    In addition, the "primary vision area" (the area of the windscreen which is swept by the windscreen wipers) must not be cracked, scored, chipped, sandblasted or otherwise damaged to the extent that it impairs the driver’s vision or damages the wiper blades.

roadworthiness windscreens
Repairing your windscreen

Repairing a damaged windscreen, if undertaken correctly, is an acceptable means of reinstating a windscreen to a safe condition.

Repaired windscreens must comply with the following requirements:

  • when inspected from the inside of the vehicle, the repair should not exhibit any significant optical defects which would distort or distract the vision of the driver and should restore clarity to the damaged area.

  • any repair to the windscreen should not reduce the effectiveness of the windscreen wipers;

  • windscreen repair material must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

    If a repair has been unsuccessful or is unlikely to be effective, the vehicle owner is responsible for replacing the windscreen in order to meet the necessary safety requirements.


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