Are You Breaking This Driving Law in Massachusetts? (WATCH)
We've all had those winter mornings, you're running late, it's freezing out and your car is covered in snow. It's always tempting, especially if you have a short commute to work, to haphazardly swing a brush across your windshield and get on your way. Not only is that dangerous, but it can get you in some serious trouble.
The Massachusetts State Police are warning drivers across the Commonwealth, that it's "unacceptable" to drive without your vehicle completely clear of snow and ice. While some states like New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut, have laws specifically pertaining to snow and ice removal, Massachusetts does not, but the State Police still warn it's dangerous AND illegal.
While the law doesn't specifically refer to snow, it is legally a driver's responsibility to have a safe vehicle on the road. According to State Police Sgt. Tom Ryan, both obstructed windows and snow blowing off of cars are common safety hazards encountered by drivers after storms. Therefor if you don't take steps to clear your car, you're breaking the law.
In Massachusetts, police can use a few different statutes to enforce snow clearing. According to the State Police, officers can issue a $40 fine for impeded operation if a driver has obstructed windows and a $200 fine for driving with an unsecured load, which can include heavy sheets of snow or ice on a car's roof. If uncleared snow or ice falls from a vehicle and causes an accident, that driver can face additional civil or criminal liability, under the state's negligent operation statute.
Better safe than sorry, clean off your car!