NJ to fine motorists for leaving snow, ice on cars

The News Leader

October 19, 2010 8:52:18 AM PDT
Motorists might want to be sure they have scrapers and brushes in their vehicles because police in New Jersey can ticket and fine those who don't clear snow and ice.

An amended law that goes into effect Wednesday requires motorists to make a reasonable effort to remove all ice and snow from their vehicles before traveling on the roads.

Motorists previously faced tickets only when property was damage or injuries occurred as a result of failing to remove ice and snow.

"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," state Highway Traffic Safety director Pam Fischer said. "The few moments it takes to clear ice and snow from your vehicle could prevent a crash or save a life," Fischer said.

State troopers have been told to enforce the law.

"For years we've seen evidence of the dangers of snow and ice on vehicles. Now, the law prohibits what common sense should have already dictated," State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said.

Fines for violating the new law range from $25 to $75. The fines increase to $200 to $1,000 when injuries or property damage occur.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers face fines ranging from $500 to $1,500 for each offense.

No motor vehicle points will be assessed against a driver's record for the violation.

AAA Clubs of New Jersey said 67 percent of its members previously surveyed supported the new law.