New Jersey drivers better come clean this winter.
A new law going into effect on Wednesday, October 20, will require motorists in the Garden State to remove all ice and snow before a vehicle before taking to the road.
Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Pam Fischer explained that prior to the change motorists could only be cited if property damage or injuries occurred as a result of failing to remove ice and snow from their vehicles. Drivers will now be required to make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated snow and ice from all exposed surfaces prior to operation of the vehicle, she explained.
“Snow and ice left on a vehicle, in particular on the hood, windows and roof, can become a deadly projectile, creating a hazard for everyone on the road,” Fischer said. “The few moments it takes to clear ice and snow from your vehicle could prevent a crash or save a life.”
Fines for violating the new law range from $25 to $75. No motor vehicle points will be assessed for this offense. If failure to remove ice and snow results in injury or property damage, motorists face fines ranging from $200 to $1000, while commercial motor vehicle drivers face fines ranging from $500 to $1,500, for each offense.
In anticipation of the inclement weather, motorists are encouraged to:
- Tune up and winterize their vehicles, as well as check the radiator, battery, antifreeze, and all other fluid levels.
- Check tire treads and replace them if they’re unsafe.
- Check and replace windshield wiper blades if the rubber is cracked and/or brittle, and be sure to check and refill the washer fluid reservoir.
- Maintain at least a half a tank of gas during the winter to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
For further information on winter driving, as well as a variety of traffic safety issues, please visit the Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s web site, at www.njsaferoads.com.