So portions of the US had a little run in with Jack Frost last week resulting in a layer of snow on the tops of many vehicles. Here in RI, we got a little more snow over the weekend, followed by rain, that then froze, making a nice, slick crust on top of all the snow. You know the kind right? That you have to crack your foot through before you take a step as not to break your ankle.
So this layer of shiny snow happens to fly off of the roofs of cars in motion…go figure. Sometimes hunks of the snow hits the windshield and explodes, or causes me to swerve at the last minute and gives me angina,
The Question: From state to state, are there any sort of laws about dusting off the roof of you car so that you don’t become a road hazard. With that shell on the snow out there today, I’d bet that it might be able to bust a windshield or even dent the hood of a car. I’ve seen this with semis too. Big sheets of the snow slips off the top of the contained portion and flips around before hitting the road or the car behind it. Seems dangerous and potentially expensive.
Um, not to be a party pooper, but the only true citation you have in that other thread is the citation to the Pennsylvania law (and even that’s not a citation to the statute, but rather to a bulletin from PennDOT about the new law). We can assume that Rhode Island has some mechanism for dealing with the issue, since they have a statement to that effect in their drivers’ manual. As for Massachusetts, citing a message board thread about someone who got a ticket there for “too much snow” hardly qualifies.
Massachusetts does not appear to have a statute directly applicable, though I may have missed it. None of the statutes that turned up in response to a search for the word “snow” in them appears to apply. The state of Ohio has not specific statute applicable, either. However, I have no doubt that an officer could simply cite a vehicle in most any state for drving around in an unsafe condition if it had sufficient accumulation of snow on the top of it to make it a hazard when driven around.
I apologize for my cites not being kosher enough for you. The OP asked whether there are state laws about clearing the roof of your car, and I believe that the cites I gave answered that question, to the effect that “Yes, there are.” At the time in the other thread, I did not have time to chase down the actual statutes. The Rhode Island cite is a DMV publication; I would hope they could be trusted to have their facts straight.