In NJ, clean snow off vehicle or else

February 23, 2011 2:45:11 PM PST
If you've ever driven behind a truck or car when snow from that vehicle blows off and goes airborne, you know it can be frightening and dangerous

"It hit my windshield and it scared me. I saw it coming but it still scares you," said Dana Schimpf of Bordentown.

In New Jersey police can ticket any driver they spot who hasn't cleared snow and ice from a vehicle - and they're doing just that.

The law went in to effect in October and, after a grace period, more than 1800 citations were issued statewide in December and January.

"We are clamping down, the police are out there. We're taking it seriously because there's a serious problem," said Sgt. Brian Polite of the NJ State Police.

Polite says fines range from $25 to $75 but can go much higher if flying snow causes injury or damage.

"I've personally experienced the snow coming at me so they have to do what they have to do, it's for everyone's safety," said truck driver Victor Pedrosa.

Some drivers don't agree.

"I think it's ridiculous only because sometimes you might not have time to clean off the snow," said Shalona Covington of Crosswicks.

It's one thing to clean off a car, but truck drivers say it's not so easy to clean snow and ice from a big rig.

"It's real hard to get up on top of the trailer and get it off," said truck driver Keith Zimmerman. "You'd wind up killing yourself going on top of the roof."

With the new law in mind, National DCP in Westampton purchased a snow removal system to clean off the hundred-plus trucks moving out of its distribution center each day. Turnpike officials say a similar system will be installed at the Fenwick rest stop in Salem County to clear off trucks entering the toll road.

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