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By Atty. Christopher Cramer

On December 31, 2013, a new law was put into effect in Connecticut that all drivers need to be aware of. Living in Connecticut, we are all used to walking outside and finding our vehicles blanketed with snow. While most of us do a fair job at clearing the snow off the vehicle, the roof, hood, and trunk are areas that tend to be ignored. That leisurely approach is no longer being tolerated in Connecticut. Now drivers are required to remove any accumulated snow or ice from their vehicle, including the roof, hood, and trunk. If not, drivers face the following fines:

• Failure to remove the ice or snow: $75 fine
• Ice or snow that causes personal injury or property damage to another: not less than $250 but no more than $1000
• Commercial drivers, in which ice or snow causes personal injury or property damage to another: not less than $500 but no more than $1250

The purpose of the new law is obvious. If you have ever been blinded by snow flying off the vehicle in front of you or have been struck by an ice missile, you will understand. Beyond that, the consequences of what can happen to the victim driver, and any drivers in the area, can be disastrous. Car accidents during and after snow storms are inevitable, and drivers already have enough to deal with when there is snow on the road. Requiring drivers to remove all the snow from their vehicles before getting on to the roadway will not only help prevent unnecessary accidents, but it will also save lives.