We're almost two weeks post-hail apocalypse here in Lawton, and the amount of taped-up windows driving around is still pretty staggering. Even worse, in letting your insurance do the thing you pay them to do, some people are stuck with busted glass for over a month!

I was chatting with a neighbor the other day. We were rocking the block King of the Hill style... Middle of the street, having a cold beer, talking about the whatnot... His truck took a pretty good pounding during our hail storm and his insurance said it's going to be practically August before they can replace his windshield!

They've worked out all of the details with Safelite, but his appointment to have his glass replaced isn't until July 31st--if nothing comes up before then.

That's a full six and a half weeks driving around with a busted windshield. Since he has no other means of transportation, it had us wondering if the law will allow that.

In Oklahoma, it's illegal to drive around with a cracked or broken windshield. The law is pretty clear on what is and isn't acceptable too in terms of damage.

  • Any cracks or damage greater than three inches in diameter are not allowed
  • Hairline or stress cracks longer than 12 inches combined are not permitted if within the windshield wiper swipe area
  • Severely cracked areas that allow air to pass through or can be felt when touched are not permitted

With him not being able to replace his windshield for six weeks, I guess this gray area will come down to the personal opinion and willingness to ruin someone's day for our local law enforcement.

I reached out to Lawton PD asking if there will be some sort of reasonable grace period before collecting easy revenue for the city, but I haven't received a response back just yet.

I also contacted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol with the same email. They were Johnny-on-the-Spot with a reassuring reply.

Our Troopers work and live in the same areas that were hit by these storms. They understand the difficulties people are facing with getting windows replaced. Troopers will most likely focus their enforcement action on vehicles that are not roadworthy instead of windows that just show signs of damage.

This still leaves the topic up to personal opinion in the officer's eye, but at least efforts will be made for a little latitude when it comes to reasonable repair over the next few weeks and months.

When LPD does reach back out with a reply, I'll add an update to this post. Until then, mind your P's and Q's. While there's likely a little leeway on windshields, this is a good reminder that having cracked or damaged wipers on your vehicle is also illegal.

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