Driving along the open road in your old car, you have the world as your book, and a ribbon of endless asphalt all for yourself. However, a chip or crack in the windscreen can transform this pleasant trip to be an anxiety-related journey. In addition, it not only obscures your visibility on the road but also could be fined and your vehicle defect notice. So, before you hit the brakes on that summer road trip or haul another load across state lines, take a moment to consider: is your windscreen legal?

For many truck drivers in Australia, their workplace is the highway. Your safety and legality depend on everything regarding your car, and the windscreen, which is vital, is not an exception. Whether you choose a mobile truck windscreen replacement service or a workshop visit, the following sections will explain the legal requirements for truck windscreens in Australia, the safety risks posed by damage, and how to maintain a clear and legal view of the road.

If you are confused about the lawfulness of your current windscreen, calm down! This guide will eventually save you from the queries and you can drive comfortably with the safety of the glass and evidence as well.

Legal requirements for truck windscreens

The laws governing truck windscreens fall under the responsibility of each state or territory's Department of Transport. In most cases, these regulations mirror those for passenger vehicles, but with some key considerations for the larger size and specific functionalities of truck windscreens.

Here's a breakdown of what typically constitutes a legal truck windscreen:

  • Minimal cracks or chips: Generally, any cracks longer than 10cm or chips larger than a $2 coin will be deemed illegal. The location of the damage also plays a role. Cracks or chips directly in the driver's line of sight are more likely to be a cause for concern.
  • Unobstructed vision: The windscreen shouldn't have any foreign objects or heavy tinting that significantly reduces visibility. This includes any lingering sun visors, phone mounts, or excessive wear and tear that distorts your view.
  • Safety glass compliance: According to the law all lorry windscreens must be produced of laminated safety glass. This type of glass would be shattered into small, blunt pieces upon impact with moderate force. This kind of glass can minimise the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.

Penalties for driving with an illegal windscreen can vary but typically include:

  • On-the-spot fines.
  • Vehicle defect notices - owners must have their truck repaired ahead of time before the vehicle can move legally.
  • Potential insurance complications if the damage contributes to an accident.

How can a damaged windscreen affect your safety?

A windscreen isn't just a glorified glass bar separating you from the elements. It is directly involved in keeping the road free from unnecessary distractions that might compromise vehicle operation. 

  • Reduced visibility: Chips, cracks, and scratches can disperse light incorrectly, this makes the vision distorted and thus the perception of distances is tricky, even recognition of hazards becomes difficult. This may lead to crashes during times of heavy rain, low-light conditions or facing oncoming traffic.
  • Increased glare: Solar glare bouncing off dents or imperfections, for example, can unexpectedly blind you, momentary reducing your vision and thus jeopardising your safety.
  • Compromised structural integrity: A large crack or a set of cracks however small it may seem, compromises the windscreen's structural strength. In such an event as a collision, the windscreen may be the first point of impact, absorbing some of the shock and preventing serious injuries.

When should you consider truck windscreen replacement?

Don't wait for a police officer to point out a problem with your windscreen before taking action. Here are some clear indicators that it's time to consider a replacement:

  • Cracks exceeding 10cm in length.
  • Multiple chips larger than a $2 coin.
  • Cracks or chips directly in your line of sight.
  • Hazing or clouding of the windscreen significantly reduces visibility.
  • Any damage that compromises the structural integrity of the glass.

While some minor chips might be repairable, for larger cracks or extensive damage, replacement is the safest option. If you need clarification on the extent of the damage, consulting a qualified mechanic or windscreen specialist is always recommended.

Maintaining a legal and safe lorry windscreen

The saying that ‘prevention is always better than cure' serves as evidence for this statement. 

  • Regular inspections: Get into the habit of taking a look at your windscreen every now and then while looking for a new crack, chip or sign of wear and tear.
  • Proper cleaning: Use correct cleaning items such as soft fabrics and water to avoid abrading the surface of the windshield. The use of chemicals or a novel cloth can cause the screen to weaken with time.
  • Parking in the shade: Prolonged and direct exposure of the windscreen to sunlight may result in cracks, especially on hot days. If it is possible, park your truck in an area that is shaded.
  • Temperature control: Do not cause drastic changes in the temperature inside the cabin, like when the heating comes on on a cold morning. This leads to windshields expanding and contracting sharply, increasing the chance of cracks.
  • Prompt repairs: Gloss over small chips or cracks. The deterioration can cause them to be bigger and eventually become a health and financial problem. Think of the perks of an out-in-your-car window glass service. These professionals can even have your car repaired onsite, and minimise your downtime, to keep you continually on the road.


A secure and law-abiding windscreen for a lorry is also not just to save you from a fine; it's to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users. Through acquiring the legal requirements knowledge, risks of a damaged windscreen, and policy direction in maintenance, you can drive safely and peacefully knowing that your road vision is clear as glass from both a legal point of view and literally. Keep in mind the fact that a plastic windscreen is a small investment in the present, which can save a lot of inconvenience and potential dangers in the future. Consequently, keep your truck in fine condition, avoid hurting, and derive pleasure from the drive.