Is It Illegal To Drive With Snow On Your Vehicle?
We just got walloped with on heck of a snowstorm named Gail. Fun Fact: Did you know that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) does not name winter storms? It's true. Actually, it's the Weather Channel that names these winter storms, citing certain criteria for naming each, and they currently have 26 names set aside for the 2020-2021 winter season.
Binghamton got mentioned several times on national TV and cable services for the crazy amount of snow we received, although a couple had a hard time pronouncing 'Binghamton.' Typical, I guess. Well, at least we've had our 15 minutes of winter weather fame to round out this rough year of 2020.
Anyway, let's get to the snow on your vehicle thing. Currently I have a car sitting in my driveway that's still got about three feet of snow on it. My van is protected under a carport, so that's a good thing and it's free of snow. Trying to get snow off the top of a van is not easy given it's height.
Never-the-less, when you or I move that vehicle out on the road, do you have to clear all the snow off the roof, and front and back of your vehicle? Well, it depends on the state you are in according to an article earlier this year (2020) written by Fix Auto USA.
The article notes that there are several states that have rules stating you must clear snow from your vehicle before taking to the roadways, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. But I noticed that New York State was not on that list. Well, I found a press release from the New York State DMV dated October 15, 2018, stating that that indeed, "It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with anything that obstructs the driver's view.
The NYS DMV press release also reminds motorists in New York State to clear off your taillights, headlights, all windows and wipers. And your license plates also need to be clear of any snow and visible, among other requirements.
Law or no law, it's just common sense to clear your vehicle of snow before heading out. Can you imagine being behind a vehicle covered in snow in front of you which eventually will fall off and probably hit your windshield causing you to lose sight of what's in front of you and/or cause you to be in an accident? How dangerous is that? And it has happened to me before. Not a good thing.
I know it's not easy clearing off all that snow, especially with the huge snowstorm we just experienced, and I saw several cars going up and down my street with three feet of snow on them, but it's against the law, so take the time and clear your vehicle. It will save you from a possible fine and avoid causing an accident for the vehicles behind you.
By the way, anyone want to clear all that snow off my car for me? Just asking.
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