Trucks in Northeast could face fines if they don't remove snow, ice

| 2/20/2003

Truckers traveling through the Northeast who don’t clean up the snow and ice on their rigs could get their wallets cleaned out.

Many of the states that were hit by this week’s snowstorm have laws requiring all vehicles to clean snow and ice off before they hit the road. If they don’t, and that ice flies off the truck and hits another vehicle, they could face a fine.

Gail Toth, president of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, said that in her state, if the ice causes damage or injures anyone, the trucker involved could face a fine ranging from $500 to $1,500. Fines for cars run from $200 to $1,000.

“Many of the New England states have the same laws that we do,” Toth said. The New Jersey law requires that both snow and ice be removed from the roofs and hoods of both cars and trucks.

The New Jersey law was passed, in part, because of an incident several years ago in which a massive sheet of ice flew off the top of a truck and into the windshield of a car, decapitating the driver.

“The truck lanes are the pits,” she said. “I feel sorry for the other truckdrivers. You’re talking about 12 by 12 foot slabs of ice flying right into your windshield.”

New Jersey state police will hand out flyers regarding the rules at truckstops and weigh stations in the state.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor