Ice Left on Cars Could Violate The Law


Many drivers found their cars coated with ice Wednesday.

Not all of them decided to clear their whole windshield.

Police say, by not taking the time, they're taking their safety and the safety of others into their own hands.
85-year-old Elmer Trubiano of Heath spent Wednesday afternoon chipping away the ice covering his granddaughter's car.

And with this kind of snowfall, clearing your car isn't just work, it's a workout.

That didn't stop Harley Whittington.

"I don't pull out until my windows are clear," Whittington said.

He's seen plenty of other, less conscientious drivers.

"This morning I seen somebody pulling down the road. She was raising up over her steering wheel because she couldn't see over the snow," Whittington said.

The driver he describes was risking an accident and a ticket.

While it's tempting to scrape as little of your windshield as necessary, the law requires you to have a clear view through your front, rear and side windows. That also goes for your headlights, tail lights and side-view mirrors; all must be free of snow and ice.

The law is less clear when it comes to cleaning off the top of your vehicles.

We've all seen chunks of snow and ice fly off the roofs of vehicles in front of us.    

Truck driver Robert Keiger took a direct hit from one of these so called "snow missiles".

"I was driving through Kentucky and a sheet of ice came off a truck in front of me," Keiger said. "Caught my windshield and cracked it. So, a couple hundred dollars."

State law generally prohibits driving any vehicle in an unsafe condition that could endanger anyone.

Keiger and other truckers say there's simply no way for them to reach the tops of their trailers to clear the ice and snow.

That's why Columbus Police and the State Highway Patrol both tell 10TV the snow coming off of vehicles is "a gray area".

If you can reach the top of your vehicles, you're expected to clear it of any snow and ice that could fly into any other cars.  Your fellow drivers will thank you.