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BOSTON (AP) -- Winter drivers too lazy or rushed to clear snow and ice from their cars would face fines and even jail under a bill being considered by the state Legislature.

The bill, considered Tuesday by the Joint Committee on Transportation, seeks to reduce the danger to other drivers from chunks of snow and ice that fly off car roofs or hoods. Motorists who don't clear their vehicles face a $500 fine or a prison term of up to six months.

If it passes, Massachusetts could become the first state to require snow and ice-free cars.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Brian Knuuttila, D-Gardner, told The Boston Globe that it's urgent to pass the bill into law before winter.

"We're not too far away from the first snow flying," Knuuttila said. "We've got to make people aware that if they persist in this type of negligent behavior, someone is going to get seriously injured. We need to have some serious negative sanctions."

Art Kinsman, director of government affairs for AAA Southern New England, said people who don't clear their cars should be fined because they are "lazy and irresponsible."

But he said the proposed penalty is too high and said police officers might be reluctant to enforce the law.

Rep. Joseph F. Wagner, co-chairman of the Transportation Committee, said the language in the bill is too vague. Right now, it bans "operating a motor vehicle with an accumulation of snow or ice which constitutes a threat to public safety." But he noted snow and ice can easily accumulate on a cars driving through a heavy storm.

"There is some gray area here we need to try to figure out how to deal with," said Wagner, D-Chicopee. "But I don't think it's unreasonable that folks should clear their car of snow and ice."

Paula Waugh saw a need for the bill after a chunk of ice flew off a tractor trailer in Winchendon and smashed her windshield, leaving her with a broken nose and other facial injuries.

After the accident 21/2 years ago, she pushed Knuuttila to sponsor the bill.

"It's a matter of taking a little extra time," she said. "I've had people tell me they wouldn't want to fool with something like that, that they don't have time to clean off their cars. But they have no idea what that ice can do."
 

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Motorists who don't clear their vehicles face a $500 fine or a prison term of up to six months.
First off, the legislation makes perfect sense... clean your damn car off before it is driven rather than drive using the porthole through the ice on the windshield. It is common sense and a courtesy. That being said, there some definate issues with this fine work or legislation.

A $500 fine or prison??? Are you kidding? A fine is definately needed to give it some teeth, but $500? Failure to Stop only carries a $100 fine at court and that is after the high speed pursuit and everything that goes along with that. Six months in the HOC, yeah ok :lol:. Most OUI first offenses the defendant gets probabtion, the 24D program, or a NG; yet drive with ice on the car and the punishment will likely equal that of an OUI the courts work here, CWOF and probabtion...

On the subject of being vauge. Definately a good point about the ice build up during the storms, when the hell does that not happen here in the winter. Even for the most cautious drivers it is unavoidable at times. I can see an increase in accidents and fatalities when motorists start carelessly darting into the BDL from the high speed lane to avoid a $500 gig after GHSB's latest television add campaign to "remove the ice or pay the price."

What about the TT units? I am sure that has not even crossed the minds of the authors of this legislation. Find a truck pulling a trailer in the winter that does not have ice or snow packed on top like an iceburg. Going to start having drivers climb onto the trailer roof and start shoveling everthing roadside...

Another well thought out peice of paper from out elected officials...
 
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"remove the ice or pay the price"

That is a great slogan I am sure they would eat it up!!!!:)

I see no problem with cars and trucks getting all the snow and ice off there vehicles before they leave there house. The vehicle is not going to build up snow and ice when it is going down the highway at 70mph it is going to happen when you are parked for some time so before you lave where ever you where parked clean off your car its not that hard. But a $500 dollar fine come on, the punishment needs to be worked on but other wise I believe this is a pretty good law.
 

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This is just the case of a politician getting thier name in the press, the idea of the law is great but as we all know it will never pass with a large fine and jail time.
 

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I think it's a great idea,,I for one know that there are tons of people that could leave 5 minutes earlier, but don't . So they rush and cut cornere trying to get to where they are going on time. And the first thing they don't do is the windshield. And there is still officers discretion,,,,ans impeded operation, for a gentler fine.
 

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About time!!!! I'm 110% for it!

Brings back memories of the kid I was following last winter in a K-car with about 500 pounds of wet snow about 15" thick covering his roof. The back window was cleared in about a 6" circle. When he stopped in the center of town, the mass slid down over his windshield and hood, and made me laugh for about ten minutes!
:santa:
 

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mpd61 said:
About time!!!! I'm 110% for it!

Brings back memories of the kid I was following last winter in a K-car with about 500 pounds of wet snow about 15" thick covering his roof. The back window was cleared in about a 6" circle. When he stopped in the center of town, the mass slid down over his windshield and hood, and made me laugh for about ten minutes!
:santa:
NOT FUNNY!

I had a guy smash into my car one sunny day because of this. I was parked in front of the Stoughton USPO and when the snow slid over his windshield he told me that he knew there were parking spaces there, so he pulled into one (hitting the side of my car . . . driver's door and front fender)! I had to contain my anger becasue if someone had crossed the street there, he would have hit them! He had an expired license, so I had Stoughton PD called and they gave him at least one ticket for the license.

Took me a year and threats of filing a lawsuit to get his insurance company to pay me! My company would have totalled the car and I didn't want to have to buy it back and have a salvage title.
 

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Why do we need another law?

Way back in the late 1960s when I was a college student, a RMV officer pulled me over by Franklin Field for having most of my rear window obscured with snow/ice. He had me clear it off before letting me go and even stopped traffic to let me merge (he pulled me over in the left lane).

He was 100% correct and even today I am unaware of any reason why what he did may not have been legal under the laws at the time! BTW, I had mirrors on both sides of my car, and usually did clear off the car before heading out. It was thick ice that day and it just wasn't thawing anytime soon, so I headed out with just an observation hole in the rear.

We may need more enforcement of current laws rather than adding another 100 pages of laws for street officers to attempt to understand.
 

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Yes LenS,

CH90 s.13 anything that impedes operation. Our old friend that we use sparingly in unique situations that require it
:BNANA:
 

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What about the TT units? I am sure that has not even crossed the minds of the authors of this legislation. Find a truck pulling a trailer in the winter that does not have ice or snow packed on top like an iceburg. Going to start having drivers climb onto the trailer roof and start shoveling everthing roadside...

Hell yeah, or you could just let drive with the snow/ice on the roof and if it blows off and causes and accident or hurts someone, oh well right.
 

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I am one of those people. I can make it a good half mile before the defroster kicks in, saving me approximately .5 minutes travel time, which I can spend cozy and warm in bed. And I will. Especially now that I don't have my old cassette cases to clear the ice off anymore. Damn it.
 

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Just cite the idiot for "unsecured load"! This might also work for certain 'motorists' who fail to wear their seatbelts...
 
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