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Clean That Snow Off Your Car or Face a $75 Fine

The fines are even steeper if the snow on your car flies off and hits another vehicle.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Connecticut residents have a financial incentive to clean the snow and ice off their cars — a $75 fine.

The penalty comes under a law enacted in 2010 that took effect on Dec 31, 2013. The Connecticut General Assembly passed the law in an effort to prevent the dangers of so-called ice missiles — the accumulation of snow and ice on a vehicle that can fly off while driving and hit other vehicles.

The fine actually increases if snow dislodged from your car strikes another and causes property damage or personal injury, according to the law. For noncommercial vehicles, the fine would be no less than $200 but not more than $1,000; for commercial vehicles, it's no less than $500 but no more than $1,200.

The law, Public Act No. 10-182, An Act Concerning The Removal of Snow and Ice From Motor Vehicles, reads in part:

"The operator of any motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1 of the general statutes, shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle, so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state."

The law does not apply if your vehicle is parked or if the snow and ice accumulated on your vehicle while you were driving in a storm.

[This article was originally published on Dec. 13, 2013.]
Samuel Goodbaum February 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM
This law affects mostly the poor and elderly. The poor because they don't have the luxury of a garage to protect their old cars and the elderly because cleaning off their entire car, especially a van or SUV, may be more physically demanding than they can manage. This is not to argue that we shouldn't clean off our cars; of course we should. But the reason MarkT doesn't see any snow covered BMW's or Mercedes is that they are tucked away in their cozy garages when the first snowflake falls. Yet another example of the unintended consequences of a law creating an additional burden on those least able to afford it.
Igor February 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Hadie what makes you think the next state isn't just as bad or going down the road? we have feel good laws because either are too stupid, lack common sense or just too damn lazy to do the right thing. Coming back from HD I had a cop between me and a guy with snow covering the whole back window. He couldn't even see. The cop made a right and the covered car continued straight. You are right where the feel good laws are virtually useless, but if they even get 10 % to do what's right then it's worth the effort.
town news February 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM
@Samuel Goodbaum get out of hear you bleeding heart liberal;. Really, if your poor you can't clean your care. If you're old it's too demanding. I've seen old people who can't walk drive and I have no sympathy for either group.What's next on your exemption list removing Burkas in driver license pictures as it would be too much of an insult? How about we give illegals with no proof or paper work driving licenses. Oh ya I forgot they are getting them in July thanks to Malloy. Should we look the other way when people don't have car insurance and send you to the hospital with flying ice in your windsheild? Don't worry you'll get the bill because having insurance affects the poor and elderly because they can't afford the premiums.
Guilford Girl February 16, 2014 at 02:06 PM
Town News and Hadie, Please leave, we beg of you. No one wants your negative attitude here. It's hard enough to get through life without people like you who don't want to live here.
Dom February 16, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Hadie, please stop painting the wrong picture of conservative ideals. You can't just form an opinion and say it's a republican view. I'm not a fan of Malloy, for a number of reasons, but not the ice missle law. We can discuss Gun control, death penalty, tax reforms stemming from Malloy which I'm not a fan of, but that is completely off topic from this article. Not cleaning your car off is dangerous for everyone on the road. You may think of it as soft fluffy snow, but when it's sticks to your car, there is ice and compacting that occurred that makes it dangerous if it melts off your car and hits a passing vehicle. The fact that the law isn't fully enforced is disheartening, but it doesn't mean the law shouldn't exist. People are still physically assaulted, robbed, and murdered even though there are laws against those actions, it doesn't mean that we should remove those laws. If this is your opinion, please don't make this a liberal vs. conservative argument.
Joe Durette February 16, 2014 at 02:46 PM
Mark T, the reason you don't see any 2013 Mercedes CLs with snow on them is because they're all parked in their heated three car garages (or maybe on the 3rd level if you're Mitt Romney). See, the po' folk who have to park in their driveways, they can't afford butlers to clean their cars off and bring them 'round front like Miss Daisy can. You tell me how to effectively clean snow off the roof of a Ford Aerostar with a two foot ice scraper. It's winter and there's snow out there. If I'm driving and there's a snowball coming at me, I don't flip out and go into a tailspin over it. It's just snow.
MarkT145 February 16, 2014 at 04:25 PM
I'm actually more worried about driving behind a 92 rusted out muffler dragging Aerostar than the snow coming off it.
Dom February 16, 2014 at 05:32 PM
This is what happens to innocent people when inconsiderate A-Holes leave loose snow on their roofs: http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/ice-smashes-into-womans-car-like-a-missile .......................................................I know because my wife's windshield was smashed the same way (The ice came off of a BMW SUV by the way), though she was able to pull over on 95. You put everyone at risk when you decide not to be considerate of the safety of those around you.
Sue Polaski February 16, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Joe Durette, It's called a broom.They are very inexpensive, even for whining, bitter po' folk such as yourself. RME
town news February 16, 2014 at 06:22 PM
Guilford Girl wait till you have to wear your big girl pants. Find a job, pay for your own health care after getting off Mommy's and Daddy's. Pay a mortgage and have state aided people living next door for free, that can't park in a garage or remove snow because they are poor Then you can tell me to leave you liberals alone.
town news February 16, 2014 at 06:25 PM
@Samuel Goodbaum Have you helped an old or poor person clear their car off or are you waiting for the plow drivers to finish their route and have then do it on the states/towns dime?
Guilford Girl February 16, 2014 at 10:12 PM
Yo Town news. I own my own home outright, pay my taxes, own commercial property. And I'm retired after having put two children through college. I don't have a garage and have ALWAYs cleaned my vehicles of snow because it's commons sense. You have no idea what my politics are. I also pay for my elderly neighbors snow removal because at 82 he should not have to shovel himself out.
Jeff Cooper February 16, 2014 at 11:34 PM
I have gotten hit a couple of times with snow/ice flying off the car in front of me. One took out a head light and the other a windshield. I hope they enforce this. Yes, I have helped people clean off/remove ice from their cars.
Craig Zac February 17, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Igor, you just fixed your problem!!! you said you're running AOL, get that garbage out of your computer now... AOL is the absolute worse thing to install! it loads so much trash and scumware you may as well take your hard drive out and shoot it! lol AOL is absolute trash and should be run out of town!
Craig Zac February 17, 2014 at 08:29 AM
no matter what, you ARE responsible for ANYTHING that flies off, from, under or out of your vehicle and damages another persons vehicle! Snow and ice coming off your car, dirt and rocks bouncing out of the bed of your pick up, a piece of pipe sliding off a vans cargo rack, a tree branch falling from a truck, a shopping bag that flies out of a cars window, a motorcyclists base ball cap... a loose muffler, a hanging side mirror... anything that comes from you and damages someone else is your responsibility. Going around and ticketing people with a couple inches of snow on their car (not like the photo above which is a totally extreme case and the driver should be fined) is nothing but a way for the state and towns to make more money by again, making us all into criminals! So now the gestapo is going to make everyone stand there and chip ice off their cars paint jobs because the tail gating moron behind me might get hit? drive correctly, stay back, quit speeding and tail gating and pay attention to the cars in front of you and those supposed Ice missiles will not be a concern.
Craig Zac February 17, 2014 at 08:34 AM
...but don't get me wrong, its not hard to clean off your car of snow... but if I wake up and have a layer of ice on my car, im NOT standing there and chipping it off or waiting for a few hours for the sun to melt it... sorry, im just not going to do it. Snow? fine, I have a broom and an extending handle snow brush, I can remove snow. but if the car is iced over, sorry, stay back 300 feet or get nailed. im not getting fired for missing work cause my car had a frozen roof. If I can get the ice / snow off, I do it. if not, im riding anyhow.
Steven R DeVaux February 17, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Brookfield school buses regularly fire snow missles at vehicles following them.
Guilford Girl February 17, 2014 at 09:36 PM
It's a safety issue, I don't understand why people have such a difficult time understanding how dangerous it is. And if you are not able or willing to clean off your vehicle you should not drive in the first case, and you deserve to to be ticketed in the second.
chuck February 17, 2014 at 10:08 PM
Just for reference......Last week I was on Route 9 and had a flying missile of snow absolutely crush my windshield. I waited 3 hrs for a windshield repair outfit to come and replace my glass. It was around 4 pm. I asked the techs how often they replaced windshields due to snow missiles. They said to me that they were on their 10th call of the day and 8 were snow missiles vs. windshields and that was pretty much the norm for a day or two after a storm. Now....multiply that by what?? How many highways x how many cars x how many missiles x how many glass repair outfits??? Nobody can say it's a non-issue. Case closed.
Igor February 18, 2014 at 07:39 AM
Guilford Girl it's not hard to understand. Some people are just damn lazy. There is no other excuse. If you're old and can't clean the car, then don't drive. If you don't want to be late, get up early. You don't have to be tailgating to be hit, that ice and snow gets an air lift and it can really traveling a great distance. I hate to think of a person or family getting killed because someone just doesn't care or is lazy.
Guilford Girl February 18, 2014 at 08:08 AM
Agreed Igor.
Craig Zac February 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM
I wonder what politicians car got hit for this to have even been considered to be such a law in the first place. This never used to be a problem until this year? No ones been hit by "Ice Missles" before? Hmmmmm..... I remember back a bunch of years I was driving in a snow storm in new Haven and went under the i91 over pass heading up RTE 80 and when I came out on the other side a state truck that had been plowing the Highway dumped all that snow and slush right down on my windshield and hood, talk about blind... busted my wipers that were turned on and everything! I think highway plowing should be outlawed cause its dangerous!
Dom February 18, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Why does everything appear to become a political matter on the patch? Just clean the snow off your roof, it's now against the law which is good for potential victims of lazy, or inconsiderate people out there who drive around with snow on their roof.
Sean February 19, 2014 at 10:19 PM
Im still seeing IDIOTS w/snow atop their car..
Joeseph Biff February 20, 2014 at 07:05 AM
Sean,you will continue to see it for ever,just like the people who insist on texting and yacking on their phones while driving.
Igor February 20, 2014 at 07:34 AM
Shouldn't even have to be a law. Joeseph Biff, yes you will continue to see it. When you go fishing you don't catch all the fish. You catch what you can. If they were to tag every car someone on here would say something to the effect" they should be out catching real criminals" Craig please stop making BS excuses. Not cleaning your car is just laziness.
Tom Lines February 22, 2014 at 03:15 PM
I would let Town News keep speaking his/her mind. In the battle of wits, he fights unarmed.
Craig Zac February 27, 2014 at 08:28 AM
Igor, whos making BS excuses? I clean off my car! Maybe people like you would feel safer if you stay off the roads in winter... im sorry this is New England, we get snow, we get ice and its something you have to deal with. if you are so scared of a piece of ice or snow, move to florida!
Craig Zac February 27, 2014 at 08:33 AM
Maybe we should all just call the state and town cops each and every time we see a car with ANYTHING tied to its roof or sticking out of the trunk, any time we see a truck with anything tied to its bed or in its bed or anytime we see anyone towing an open trailer full of stuff like landscaping tools or if they are moving furniture or hauling anything... If we can get fined because snow or ice MIGHT fly off and hit a car, then it should be against the law for ANYTHING that might fly off of a car, truck or, trailer and hit a car. If we are going to be safe, lets be safe ALL the way around! W have all see it, the car with the matress on the roof or this one.... cars with Christmas trees tied to the roof... now That's dangerous! Or trucks filled with branches so high they are almost hitting the phone wires or so packed they are actually hanging out the back and touching the pavement... trailers full of shovels, barrels, lawn equipment... dump trucks full of dirt or rocks that is like driving behind a sand blaster... cars with lumber on the roof, trucks and vans with pipes on top... and you all are worried about some snow or ice?
Dom February 27, 2014 at 09:20 AM
If you properly secure the snow to your vehicle I'd be happy for you to drive around with it. You can't tie down snow due to it's physical properties, but you are more than welcome to keep it in your trunk.

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