KIYC: Cutting corners clearing cars of snow can cost drivers

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Many New Jersey drivers say that they are getting tired of dodging chunks of snow and ice, sent airborne from cars whose drivers didn’t bother to clean them off before hitting the roads. And while a New Jersey law says that flying ice can come at a price, Kane In Your Corner finds many drivers simply ignore it.

Larry Swartz, of Manasquan, points to his shattered windshield, hit by a flying chunk of ice on his commute to work. He points out, somewhat ruefully, that the accident happened after he personally spent an extra five minutes making sure he had removed all the ice and snow from his own car. “I'd been on the other side where chunks of ice came off a truck and whacked me real good, so I always go out of my way to do that,” Swartz says.

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Other drivers say they routinely have to dodge flying ice and snow from uncleared cars the morning after snowstorms.

“It flies into your windshield and startles you. It takes time to clear it off your windshield,” says Warren Castellano, of Neptune.

“If you get blasted with a piece of ice, yeah, it’s hazardous,” says Mike DiBiase, of Whiting.

Failing to clear your vehicle of snow and ice isn’t just potentially dangerous, it’s also illegal. New Jersey law requires motorists to “make every reasonable effort” to clear their cars, including the hood and roof, as well as the top of any trailer they may be towing. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine of up to $75 per offense, up to $1,000 per offense resulting in injury, and up to $1,500 per offense for commercial vehicles. Police departments issued more than 2,000 tickets last year, but it’s clear many drivers simply ignore the rule.

The good news: Most drivers who spoke to Kane In Your Corner said they had less trouble with flying chunks of ice after this storm, but not because drivers were more diligent about clearing their cars. They just thought the snow was softer.

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