Experts remind drivers of state law to remove snow, ice off cars

HARTFORD – Many sidewalks and roadways are still glazed with a thick sheet of ice following Wednesday’s storm.

Police now want to remind drivers there is also another dangerous habit they have seen: people leaving snow and ice on the roof of their cars. They said it is not only a safety hazard, but it is also against the law.

Most people dread seeing that thick layer of snow or ice on their car and whether it is to avoid the bitterly cold temperatures, or if you are in a rush, many people just remove the snow on their windshield, back window, and part of the side windows.

“It’s also a visibility issue. Instead of just cleaning off part of that back window or something like that, maybe throw the heat on and sit in your car for a little while, give it a chance to warm up but cleaning off your car is critical,” said Triple A spokesperson, Amy Parmenter.

Parmenter said drivers tend to forget the dangers of not cleaning the snow or ice off the roof of their cars. It is not only respectful of other drivers, but it can also prevent a deadly crash.

“Think about how you would feel if something came flying off of a vehicle in front of you and not only is it frightening but it could potentially create a dangerous situation,” added Parmenter.

In December 2013, a law went into effect for vehicles to clear snow and ice of your car, especially the roof and it is now called the “Ice Missile Law.”

In part, it states “Any operator who fails to remove accumulated ice or snow that poses such a threat shall be fined $75.”

The only time this law does not apply is when the bad weather starts coming down while the person is driving and when the car is parked.

The next time you are driving and you see a car with a lot of snow or ice on its roof, follow this one tip: keep a safe distance from you and that car in front of you. That way, if it falls, it has a better chance of hitting the road rather than your windshield.

“We’ve all been driving down the highway and you see the vehicle go by with the snow or ice on its roof – give that person plenty of room. Better to be safe than sorry,” added Parmenter.

While the minimum penalty fine is $75, the driver could face a fee of 1,000 or more if there is significant damage to a vehicle caused by an ice missile.