NJ Traffic Lawyer: Vehicle Snow Removal Law

Many drivers in New Jersey have been guilty of going outside to an ice-covered vehicle on a freezing-cold winter morning and quickly chipping just enough ice off the windshield to see through … then they drive away. We’ve all seen these “peephole” drivers … those who drive (dangerously) down the road with barely enough snow and ice cleared from the windshield to allow them to see straight ahead. But not only is it dangerous, it’s actually against the law. Peephole driving dramatically reduces a driver’s field of vision, and it increases the likelihood that snow or ice can become dislodged and hit another vehicle or a pedestrian. A NJ traffic law passed in 2010 fines drivers for up to $1,500 when they fail to remove snow or ice off of their vehicles and it results in an injury.

Removing Ice and Snow from Your Vehicle (N.J.S.A 39:4-77.1)

All MOTORISTS shall remove all ice and snow from their vehicle before driving, especially from the hood, windows, and roof. It is the law in New Jersey. Motorists who fail to do so face fines of $25 to $75 for each offense, regardless of whether the ice and snow is dislodged from the vehicle. If flying ice or snow causes property damage or personal injury to others, motorists face fines of $200 to $1,000 for each offense.

When snow or ice is dislodged from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing personal injury or property damage, the following penalties shall apply:

• The operator of a non-commercial motor vehicle shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 or more than $1,000 for each offense.
• The operator, owner, lessee, bailee or any one of the aforementioned of a commercial motor vehicle shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,500 for each offense.

The State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety offers a highway traffic safety campaign, Ice and Snow – Remove it Before You Go as a reminder to remove all ice and snow from your entire car – not just the windshield, but also the hood, windows and roof. Drivers are subjected to ice or snow slabs that are thrown off of the roofs of cars, buses, or trucks when their owners or drivers failed to clean off their roofs prior to driving. Good visibility is key to safe driving and not completely clearing the vehicle of snow, ice and frost can impact visibility and driver safety.

So, remember to remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before driving, especially from your vehicle’s hood, trunk, roof, and windshield to avoid being ticketed for this offense or, worse yet, causing injury or property damage to another.

Call NJ traffic lawyers at Villani & DeLuca P.C. at 732-965-3350 for your free consultation today; we serve New Jersey clients located throughout the state, including Ocean County and Monmouth County.