Last month, an amended law went into effect which requires drivers to remove all snow and ice from their vehicles before driving on New Jersey roads. Officials say that taking just a few minutes to clear the hazardous material could avoid a car accident, property damage, injuries, and death.
The new law updates earlier legislation which cited drivers only if snow or ice on a vehicle resulted in injury or property damage. Under the updated law, drivers must make all reasonable efforts to remove snow and ice from all exposed surfaces of a vehicle before driving on New Jersey roads, and motorists who fail to do so may receive a citation and a fine.
The fines for violating the law start between $25 and $75, and may go up to $1,000 if the failure to remove snow or ice results in injury or damage to property. Commercial motorists face steeper penalties, with fines between $500 and $1,000 for initial offenses. Drivers will not receive motor vehicle points for their violation of the law.
According to Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Pam Fischer, driver safety is the primary reason for the law. "Snow and ice left on a vehicle, in particular on the hood, windows, and roof, can become a deadly projectile, creating a hazard for everyone on the road," she said. "The few moments it takes to clear snow and ice from your vehicle could prevent a crash or save a life."
Although winter may be several weeks away, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes is encouraging drivers to be prepared when the snow inevitably falls. "Although the weather remains mild, it won't be long before winter arrives," he said. "By getting a head start on preparing your vehicle for winter's worst, you can ensure your driving safety throughout the winter season."
Source: News Transcript, "Ice & snow must be cleared from vehicles before driving"