When it Snows - Clean Your Car! New Law Coming

Snow Covered CarAs winter approaches (which last weeks unexpected snow reminded us is close at hand) a point of irritation bubbles to the top again - trying to get somewhere and dodging the ice, snow and debris from the car in front of you.  You know the car I am talking about - it snowed 3 days ago, and the car in front of you is encased in a 4 inch shiny snow crust with a square cut into the windshield and a rectangle in the driver side window for viewing.  As you are driving behind it you can only watch as sheet after sheet of ice comes sliding off, into your window, and making you almost get into an accident because you can't see.

Well, good news is on they way.  According to the Daily Record "Legislation that would toughen New Jersey's notoriously weak snow-removal law passed the Senate and Assembly in June. Gov. Jon S. Corzine is expected to sign it".

The current law is ridiculous - "Under the 1997 state law, a driver can get a ticket for not clearing a vehicle — but only if the snow dislodges and causes an injury or property damage, and only in the unlikely event an officer is nearby or the victim has the wherewithal to jot down a license plate number." (emphasis added).

While the new proposed law sounds better - it "would create an "affirmative duty" for snow removal with fines of up to $75"  - there will be many exemptions.  These appear to be aimed at:

  1. not being responsible for snow accumulation while it is still snowing (reasonable, so long as you cleared your car before your started your drive - not just clear a circle and go),
  2. not more than 1 ticket in a day (ridiculous - clean off your car, and if one ticket doesn't motivate you, another one might), and 
  3. exempting commercial trucks that are enroute to a place with snow removal equipment (reasonable in the sense that a trucker can't really clean whole rig, but those trucks are a hazard after the storm has passed).  

In typical New Jersey fashion, a fund is supposed to be created with some of the ticket revenue to educate people about the law. Given the state of our State's finance, I think that adding the general revenues would be a better choice.