The approach of winter in Connecticut means many things to many people, including holidays spent with loved ones. However, winter also means the return of treacherous weather, difficult driving conditions, and a return of the state's ice missile law.
The law, which went into effect in 2014, is designed to help protect drivers from sheets of snow and ice flying off from vehicles while they are driving down the road. The law requires that drivers remove the snow and ice from the roof, hood and trunk of their vehicle before they go out into traffic. These sheets of snow and ice present a hazard to other drivers on the road and can potentially lead to injurious or fatal accidents.
Any motorist or truck driver on the roads in Connecticut with accumulated ice and snow on their vehicle can be pulled over by local police and issued a summons. The cost of the summons is $75 plus an additional $45 in surcharges. Automobile drivers face a $200 fine if the snow and ice from their vehicle damaged another vehicle or caused an accident, while commercial drivers who cause a similar hazard face a fine of $500.
Representatives from the trucking industry have said that while removing accumulated snow and ice from cars isn't that difficult, removing it from the roofs and trailer tops of large commercial trucks remains difficult. One possible solution has been the introduction of large roof rakes that can push the ice and snow off of the roofs of tractor trailers.
Nearby states New Jersey and Pennsylvania have enacted similar laws. However, these fines do little, if anything, to help those who have suffered losses as a result of one of these accidents. With that in mind, any Connecticut resident who has been involved in an accident that involved snow and ice that came off of a truck or car may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to determine if they can seek compensation.
Source: ctpost.com, "Ice missiles snowball into cash for state", Bill Cummings, Feb. 14, 2014