That mound of snow or chunk of ice sitting atop your vehicle after a snowstorm needs to be removed before you leave your driveway, officials at AAA Northeast are reminding Shelton motorists.
If it hurtles off your car while driving on Connecticut roadways and smashes into another vehicle, you could be fined $75.
If the flying snow or ice results in injury or property damage to another vehicle, you could be fined even more — as much as $1,000. Penalties for truck drivers are even higher.
Anyone who drives Route 8, the Merritt Parkway, or Interstates 95 or 84 during snowy weather has probably observed or experienced what has been described by a former lawmaker as a “slow-motion nightmare” — snow or ice flying off the top of the vehicle in front of you while you’re trying to navigate slippery, snowy roads.
“Leaving snow or ice on top of your car while you’re driving 60 mph, becomes a safety hazard to other drivers,” says AAA Northeast spokesman Fran Mayko. “It’s also downright rude without taking into consideration how your actions could affect others.”
Became law in 2013
Connecticut’s “Clear Your Car” law went into effect in 2013 after former state Rep. Larry Cafero of Norwalk pushed for legislation when his wife was a “victim” of flying snow. A sheet of ice flew off a truck and smashed into the vehicle she was driving on the highway.
She reportedly was unhurt, but was frightened — as anyone would be if they’ve ever experienced a similar situation.
Connecticut’s law says drivers “shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk or 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.”
Good driver etiquette
“It takes 10 minutes of your time to practice good driver etiquette in your driveway,” Mayko said.
She suggested using a scraper/brush with a telescoping handle to reach across your hood, trunk or top of your car. For vehicles that are larger in size or higher, use a push broom to remove the snow.
If that doesn’t work, there are long rakes available that are used by truckers to remove snow from the top of rigs.
About the local AAA
AAA Northeast is a nonprofit auto club that serves more than 5.1 million members with travel, insurance, finance and auto-related services.
The American Automobile Association affiliate covers parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.