Customer research on roadworthy certificates conducted by Vehicle Inspections Australia suggests that the general public is misinformed when it comes to windscreens and requirements for roadworthy certificates.
The prevailing assumption is that a windscreen will almost always need replacing when it comes time for a roadworthy inspection. Fortunately, this is not true.
Licensed roadworthy testers are always reminded by VicRoads that “…deterioration [of windscreens] from the “as new” condition is allowable and a windscreen or window with minor damage should not be rejected”
Of course, there is a point where a windscreen becomes unsafe for use, but this is only to an extent that “…the driver’s vision is so impaired that the vehicle cannot be driven safely”.
Cracks and Chips
Most modern windscreens are generally laminated, and are made up of two or more unique layers. Your windscreen will automatically be rejected if a crack or chip goes through both layers of the windscreen, however this is not that common.
If the crack or chip only penetrates one layer (usually the outer layer) then chips, bullseyes and star cracks must be larger than 16mm in diameter (about the size of an Australian 5 cent coin). Long cracks must be longer than 150mm to be rejected.
Sandblasting is not a cause for rejection of a windscreen. Sandblasting is the effect on the windscreen where lots of tiny little chips cover the entire screen. Roadworthy testers where advised many years ago that this is not a cause for rejection.
General Condition and Roadworthy Tester’s Discretion
The key phrase when it comes to assessing windscreens is: damage should not impair the driver’s vision to the extent that the vehicle cannot be driven safely. Obviously this provides the roadworthy tester with some discretion and judgement when it comes to passing your windscreen, however just because a windscreen has slight damage does not mean it should be automatically replaced.
Our next VIA roadworthy blog entry will have tips on how to find a good trustworthy mechanic to service and repair your vehicle.