Law & Order

Washington State Patrol to Retain Existing Bumper/Windshield Standards

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

Responding to comments submitted by SEMA to a proposed motor-vehicle equipment rule, the Washington State Patrol opted to retain the current maximum bumper height for passenger vehicles and the minimum height requirement for windshields.

SEMA had opposed efforts by the agency to modify the regulations by lowering the maximum bumper height requirement for passenger vehicles from 22 in. to 20 in. The association also opposed a change to the current regulations that would remove the 6-in. minimum height requirement for windshields and replace it with a vague, subjective standard. SEMA contended that with regard to incompatible bumper heights, regulations more stringent than the current standard in Washington would not solve this difference among vehicles in the national vehicle fleet. Vehicles of vastly differing bumper heights—from sports cars to stock pickups, to tractor trailers and school busses—come off the assembly lines each year. 

The proposal also required that windshields “be of sufficient dimensions to protect the driver and occupants from insects, other airborne objects and highway surface water and debris when the motor vehicle is moving forward, or as originally equipped by a recognized manufacturer.” This proposed change removed an objective requirement that the vertical height of the windshield be at least 6 in. and replaced it with language that relied on the subjective interpretation of the individual inspector or law-enforcement authority, rendering the vehicle owner without clear direction as to lawful modifications. 

For details, contact Steve McDonald at