Potentially Deadly Highway Hazard

Calling ice on vehicles a “potentially deadly highway hazard,” state Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe) today reintroduced legislation that would require motorists to clear snow and ice off their cars and trucks before driving.

“Leaving snow and ice on your vehicle can be dangerous and even fatal to other motorists and pedestrians,” Boscola said. “It’s just common sense. My bill makes it the law.”

Under her bill, drivers must make “all reasonable efforts” to remove accumulated snow or ice from their vehicles before driving. If a law enforcement officer believes accumulated ice or snow “may pose a threat to persons or property,” a driver could be fined from $25 to $75.

“Too many people let highway winds do their snow removal for them,” Boscola said. “But they don’t realize that soft and seemingly harmless snow can easily freeze, harden and turn into chunks of ice that dislodge from a moving vehicle.”

“These icy projectiles can strike another vehicle, smashing the windshield and causing a driver to swerve and lose control or directly strike the driver causing injury or death,” Boscola added.

Boscola said most drivers take the effort to remove snow and ice from their hoods and roofs before driving, but others too often skip it because they’re in a rush or don’t understand how potentially dangerous it is.

Current law that was pushed and championed by Boscola says if snow or ice falls or is dislodged from a vehicle, causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle is subject to a fine.  The fine ranges from $200 to $1,000 for each offense.

She said her proposal would strengthen the law by deterring people from leaving ice on their car — preventing tragedies before they happen.

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