FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Truck drivers in Connecticut will soon face fines if they do not clean their vehicles well enough after a snowfall or ice storm.
A new law goes into effect Dec. 31 requiring commercial drivers to clear their vehicles completely of snow and ice before driving, “including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle.” The law had already been in effect for noncommercial cars. Now all vehicles with loose snow or ice falling off during travel face potential fines.
“This is a law meant to protect citizens and motorists from these elements that can be very dangerous when coming off traveling trucks on our highways and streets,” Motor Vehicles Commissioner Melody A. Currey said in a press release.
The law carries a fine of $75 for driving with snow falling off a car. The law does not apply if the ice or snow started falling after a driver began his or her trip.
If the ice or snow hits another vehicle, causing the driver to lose control and causes injury or property damage, the law carries harsher penalties. Commercial drivers face fines of $500 to $1,250 in those cases. All other drivers face a fine of $200 to $1,000.
Nicknamed the “Ice Missile” law, the bill was spearheaded by House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk). He originally proposed the idea in 2008, and it was finally passed in the spring of 2010.
“When snow and ice blows off a car at 65 mph it poses a real public safety concern for anyone nearby. The accumulated snow and ice hinders a drivers’ vision and can hit anyone else on the road,” Cafero said when he introduced the bill in 2008.