Connecticut troopers cracking down on 'ice missiles'

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 2/19/2014

The Connecticut State Police are cracking down on drivers who don’t remove snow and ice from their vehicles before venturing onto the roads.

As of today, 328 drivers have already received citations under the state’s so-called “Ice Missile” law, which fines first-time offenders $120, and fines up to $500 for multiple offenses, according to state police Lt. Paul Vance.

Vance said the law initially applied only to passenger vehicles when it was first enacted over a year ago, but a Jan. 1 provision now expands the violations to include all commercial vehicles, including straight trucks, tractor-trailers, tandems and buses.

“All vehicles traveling on the roads and highways in Connecticut must be clear of ice and snow,” he said. “This law was enacted because ice/snow and debris do cause accidents and damage to roads and vehicles. We’ve had crashes where ‘ice missiles,’ if you will, have caused drivers to panic and caused crashes. Those are the things we’re trying to alleviate here.”

Vance said troopers have already issued 328 tickets to both passenger vehicles and commercial drivers as of Feb. 19. He estimated roughly one-third of the citations have gone to commercial drivers.

“The hardest thing for the trailers and tractors obviously is (removing snow and ice from) the top of the trailer,” he said.  “If you’re driving along, and going hour after hour, there’s a certain amount of buildup that occurs on any vehicle, and a trooper would get that. What we don’t want is for people after a snowstorm is completed, to clear off a peephole as we call it … start the vehicle and drive out onto a public roadway or highway. That’s dangerous not only for the driver, but for everybody else.

“Common sense really does enter into the interpretation of the law. We’re not out to make it difficult for anyone; we’re simply attempting to make sure the people that use the highways in the state of Connecticut are safe,” he said. “We recognize the men and women behind the wheels of commercial vehicles, they’re pros and they do it for a living and they get it. We’re certainly just out here to try and make it safer for everybody.”

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