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State Patrol Reminder: Clear Snow, Ice off Cars

Brandon Weathers
Created: December 13, 2019 04:33 PM

When snow falls and you're in a hurry, we've all seen people hit the road with only the bare minimum of snow scraped off their cars. This can lead to potentially deadly crashes, and that's why Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan each have laws in place enforcing the removal of snow from vehicles.

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Wisconsin state law requires all drivers to remove ice and snow from windows or face a $175 fine. In Minnesota, you can also be pulled over for obstruced view.

Neither state fines drivers for snow piled on the roof of vehicles, until it starts to cause problems. In Minnesota, you can be held civilly responsible for any damage caused by debris falling off your car as it violates the Unsecure Load Law. Minnesota State Patrol public information officer Neil Dickenson urges motorists to clear their vehicles before it gets to that point.

"We've seen it, too, where there's ice and snow on roofs, and a lot of people think, 'Well, if I just get up on highway speeds it's gonna clear itself off,' but that's not a good safe practice to do. Make sure that you're clearing it," Dickenson said, "The worst thing that can happen is a serious injury, crash, or a fatality as a result of debris coming off of a vehicle in front of you."

Dickenson said if your vehicle is damaged by snow or ice falling of a car in front of you, try to write down the license plate and report it to authorities.

When it comes to the bitter cold, Dickenson said that it's important not to leave keys in an unlocked car. Many cities and counties including St. Louis County have ordinances in place against leaving vehicles unattended.

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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