Following up on my previous post on this topic, not only is not clearing one’s vehicle of ice and snow before your drive foolish, inconsiderate, and potentially deadly, in Massachusetts it’s illegal. Not because our myopic legislators have had the motivation to enact a specific stature mandating removal of snow & ice from the hoods, roofs and trunk lids of their vehicles (that would be too sensible, after all.) It’s illegal due to a handful of other motor vehicle operation statutes – and police departments across the state have shown they are very willing to cite drivers for violations of those statutes, which are as follows:
- M.G.L. Chapter 90, Sec. 13, which addresses safety precautions for proper operation and parking of vehicles. This law prohibits anything on or in a vehicle that interferes with proper operation of the vehicle. And yes, snow and/or ice on car’s surfaces – especially the roof and hood – meets this definition.
- M.G.L. Chapter 85, Section 36, addressing unsecured vehicle loads. Violation of this statute imposes fines of up to $200 – and if an accident were part of the vehicle stop and a driver was cited with this violation, that citation will put the driver cited at a serious disadvantage in any civil liability case that followed as a result of any Massachusetts motor vehicle accident.