Connecticut bill would require snow, ice removal from vehicles

| 2/19/2008

A bill in the Connecticut statehouse would force car and truck drivers to remove ice and snow from their vehicles before taking to roadways in the state. There have been at least nine attempts since 1991 to enact such a law.

State law already allows police to pull over drivers for failure to secure a load. However, House Speaker Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, has introduced a bill that specifically targets snow and ice. It is scheduled for a public hearing Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Violators would face fines between $200 and $1,000 if police determine that snow and ice poses a threat to others or that it has damaged another vehicle. Drivers would not be liable for snow or ice that accumulates on a vehicle while out on the road.

Cafero cited complaints from constituents about wintry precipitation flying from cars and trucks when he reintroduced the measure. It last drew consideration at the statehouse in 2001, The Stamford Advocate reported.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania are the only states to have specific snow and ice rules on the books. Supporters say a specific law for snow and ice removal in Connecticut would make enforcement easier.

Trucking industry officials in the state say the rule would be nearly impossible to comply with. They also cite concerns about requiring people to climb atop large vehicles to remove snow or ice.

The bill – HB5042 – is in the Legislature’s Transportation Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Connecticut in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor