Whether you are dreaming of a White Christmas or not do not forget to clean your car windows of snow and ice this winter. Not only is it a smart idea for safety purposes but it is also the law in Pennsylvania.
Title 75 § 4524. Windshield obstructions and wipers, states:
(a) Obstruction on front windshield.–No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway except an inspection certificate, sticker identification sign on a mass transit vehicle or other officially required sticker and no person shall drive any motor vehicle with any ice or snow on the front windshield which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.
(b) Obstruction on side and rear windows.–No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other nontransparent material, including ice or snow, upon the side wings or side or rear windows of the vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway. The placement of a registration permit upon the side or rear window of a vehicle shall not be considered a material obstruction.
In short, 75 §4524 requires all motor vehicle operators to remove all ice and snow and any other material from the windshield, side windows, and rear windows which prevents the operator from having a clear and unobstructed view of the road at all times.
While a violation of §4524 is only a summary offense subject to a $25 fine, the citation amount will likely exceed $100.00 after administrative fees and court costs are added in. That’s a lot to pay when an ice scrapper can be purchased for $5 to $10 and the windows cleared in 10 minutes.
Worse case scenario is that ice and snow dislodge from your car while moving and causes an accident, injury, or death. Under Title 75 §3720, the operator of a vehicle who failed to remove snow or ice from his vehicle could be subject to a fine of no less than $200.00 and no more than $1,000.00.
§ 3720. Snow and ice dislodged or falling from moving vehicle, states:
When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.
With snow and icy weather approaching, remember to take 10 minutes and clean your car before driving. Have a safe and Merry Christmas.