We all have performed the winter ritual of scraping ice and snow from our windshield. We do this ritual so we can see the road ahead and behind us. We all know we do this for our safety and the safety of other motorists. We always clear our windshields and mirrors, but sometimes ignore the tops and sides of our vehicles, not realizing the safety hazards. These hazards sometimes cause damage to other vehicles, create a slick spot on the road, and even kill.
In 1999, 20-year-old Jessica Smith was traveling along Route 202 in Peterborough when a piece of ice freed itself from the roof of an oncoming 18-wheeler. The piece of ice struck a vehicle near Smith. The vehicle lost control, slammed into Smith’s vehicle, and killed her.
We now have “Jessica’s Law” requiring all drivers to remove all snow and ice from their vehicles prior to travel on NH roads. Failure to comply with this is punishable under NH RSA 265:79-b (Negligent Driving) Penalties are a fine of $250-$500 for the first offense with increasing penalties for subsequent offenses; up to and including loss of license.
While we are talking about snow don’t forget about NH RSA 236:20 (Snow Obstruction) prohibits you from placing snow you have removed from your driveway, walkways, etc into the roadway. This is a violation for most, if you’re a commercial contractor it is a misdemeanor.
Please take the extra time to completely clean the snow from your vehicle, don’t forget your license plates both need to be visible. A public service announcement from Street Wise Driving Academy.