Tags: snow | car | roof | 300 ticket

Leaving Snow on Your Roof Can Earn You a $300 Ticket

(Branislav Mihajlovic | Dreamstime.com)

By Monday, 30 December 2019 07:10 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Did you know that if you leave snow on the roof of your car, SUV or truck will earn you a $300 ticket?

Letting your car idle in the driver for too long will also earn you a ticket. Yes, this is true, even if idling in your driveway, you can get a ticket.

Let's face it, no one looks forward to scraping the snow/ice from one's car, either!

Here are 11 states that could fine you up to $1000 if snow/ice is not removed from your vehicle before driving:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

In Connecticut, if snow or ice flying from vehicles results in injury or property damage, drivers of non-commercial vehicles can be fined from $200 to $1,000. The penalties for commercial drivers are $500 to $1,250. Pennsylvania has similar laws.

For everyone's safety, it's recommended (and just common sense) that all motorists clean snow and ice from their vehicles before driving. Clean the top of the hood, roof of the car, around the lights, and windows. I've seen many times while driving in the winter months, sheets of ice flying off trucks or cars and hoped and prayed it wouldn't smash into my windshield or any other vehicle. Unfortunately, there have been fatal accidents due to ice/snow hitting drivers.

It’s also illegal to warm up your vehicle in many states. The only thing worse than having to go outside in this type of weather is having to enter a freezing cold car. You might be tempted to turn on your vehicle and let it get nice and cozy before you hop in, but this is actually illegal in many states. It doesn't even matter how long your car is running, most states consider idling an automatic misdemeanor. Even cars that have an automatic start feature are against the law in some states. The penalties vary from state to state. In Washington D.C., for example, you can get fined $5,000 if your car is sitting around for just three minutes. Other states are more lenient, like Pennsylvania, where the law states you can idle for 20 minutes when the temperature is below 40º.

You can check your own state's laws on the EPA's website, but here are the states that don't allow you to let your car idle (it's most of them):

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

This isn't just lawmakers' way of messing with you, by the way. It's actually meant to help the environment!

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.

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Did you know that if you leave snow on the roof of your car, SUV or truck will earn you a $300 ticket?
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Monday, 30 December 2019 07:10 AM
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