In Connecticut a new law went into affect on Dec. 31 requiring commercial motor vehicles remove snow and ice from hoods, trunks and roofs or their operators will face fines ranging from $75 to $1,250.
Operators of commercial vehicles who simply do not remove the accumulated snow and ice can be fined $75, however, the law calls for stiffer penalties when there’s personal or property damage from the flying elements. In those instances the operator can face a fine ranging from $500 to $1,250 each time it happens.
“This is a law meant to protect citizens and motorists from these elements that can be very dangerous when coming off traveling trucks on our highways and streets,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey in a press release. The fines carry the penalty of an infraction.
Operators are exempt from the fines when the snow, sleet and freezing rain begins or continues while the vehicle is traveling. Parked vehicles are also exempt from the required removal of ice and snow.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania have laws similar to Connecticut's, and the state of New York is considering a bill that would also require all vehicles remove snow and ice prior to taking off on the road.
These laws have raised concerns within the trucking industry over safety issues, especially considering the various laws require removing snow and ice from the tops of trailers, which are beyond dangerous for drivers to climb on.
So what are the options for drivers? In short, there aren't that many.
"A survey by the American Transportation Research Institute reveals that there remains a lack of economically feasible, easily deployable solutions available to motor carriers. ATRI said that snow throwers—devices that utilize an H-frame and rotate three times to throw snow as far as 20 feet away—cost about $70,000. Snow scrapers—devices mounted on H-frame that trailers can pull under to scrape the snow—run about $15,000 to $18,000," according to an article by Penske.