In Maine, Is It Illegal To Drive With Snow On Your Car?
Maine winters may not be what they used to be when you and I were kids, but we still get our fair share of snow.
During the winter of 2022 / 2023, for example, we started out with really mild weather. We had a few storms that were accompanied by warmer weather. Because of the temperatures, we did not get a whole lot of snow. The snow did not really start rolling into Maine until January and February.
Despite the snow, we all have places we need to go. We're hearty Mainers, after all. No matter the weather, we go out and get things done!
But, when the snow falls, sometimes we get more than we were expecting. We wake up too late to get all of our chores (shower, breakfast, warming the car up, cleaning the car off) done. Which of those tasks are you going to not do?
When that happens, do you have to completely clean off your vehicle?
Vehicle Snow Removal Laws
Do you really need to completely clean off your car, truck, or SUV? At this moment, no. According to the Maine Legislature website, there are no state statutes that require people to remove the snow and ice from their vehicles. However, it is not legal to have anything blocking your windshield or windows.
The statute says:
A person may not operate a vehicle with a sign, poster, opaque or semitransparent material or substance on the front windshield, side wing or side or rear window that obstructs the operator's clear view of the way or an intersecting way.
That may be about to change, though.
A New Law
According to an article on the WGME website, there is a new law in the works that would make it a law that you need to remove all of the snow from the top of your vehicle.
Of course, we have all seen the videos and pictures showing how dangerous it can be to leave the snow and ice on top of your vehicle. Light and fluffy snow can fly off your vehicle and blind the driver behind you . Ice can fly off your vehicle, damaging the vehicle behind you. The article explains that, between November 2022 and February 2023, there were at least 30 crashes caused by snow falling off the roofs of vehicles.
There are some people who take issue with the law, though. Representatives for the trucking industry say it would put drivers at risk because if could be dangerous for them to climb on top of their tractors and trailers in order to remove the snow.
Due to the safety concerns of people driving around with snow on their vehicles, the Maine State Police back the new bill, which is currently being debated.
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