OH NO, SNOW!
As a snow storm approaches some people become excited and others become stressed and nervous. Some can’t wait to go skiing, snowboarding, sledding or snowmobiling while others feel the need to run to the grocery store and stock up on supplies.
Regardless what your reaction is it is important to operate your vehicle safely during and after a snow storm.
Specifically, you are required to “…remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle, so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state…” C.G.S. §14-252a(a). Failure to do so may result in a $75 fine. If the dislodging of ice or snow from your vehicle causes damage to a person or property, the fine ranges from $200 to $1,000 per offense. In addition, C.G.S. 14-99f (a) further provides “…The windshield shall be reasonably free of defects and accumulations, inside and out, of snow, ice, condensation and dirt…” and subsection (c) further provides “No article, device, sticker or ornament shall be attached or affixed to or hung on or in any motor vehicle in such a manner or location as to interfere with the operator’s unobstructed view of the highway or to distract the attention of the operator.”
Most people recognize that these are reasonable requirements and instinctively comply, however, there are many who don’t think anything of driving down the highway at 60+ mph with a six inch circle of snow cleared from their windshield so they can see in front of their vehicle. When driving, it is necessary to be able to see not only in front of your vehicle, but also in back and all around your vehicle in order to operate it safely. That means anything that blocks your view, inside or out, whether it is snow, cell phones, GPS devices, trash on your dash or jewelry hanging from your mirror, needs to be removed so you minimize the risk of injury to yourself, your occupants, pedestrians, and others around you.
Common sense goes a long way and it can save you a lot of money and legal headaches in the future. Operate your vehicle safely and give yourself extra time to clear your vehicle adequately before getting behind the wheel.