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Insider Insights: Articles

Caution: Flying ice and snow

By Rachel Schoutsen
Presenter, The Weather Network
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 12:14 PM

We hear this phrase way too often in the Beat the Traffic studio, "We have a traffic complaint. Flying ice off a vehicle has dented the caller's car."

So what is the deal with flying ice and snow? Who is responsible for what? And how much snow on your vehicle can you get away with?

Ultimately, you are responsible for operating a safe vehicle. If you cannot see out the rear, then you are not obeying the rules.

And not obeying the rules can and will get you a fine. Andy Pattenden, Corporate Communications for the York Regional Police explains, "Drivers can be charged with operating a vehicle that has an obstructed view, which carries a fine of $110. They can also be charged for having a snow covered license plate which is also a fine of $110."

The section in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act that applies to the obstructed view is as follows:

Windows to afford clear view
74. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway,
(a) unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle; and
(b) unless the rear window is in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the rear of the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 74 (1).
Application of cl. (1) (b)
(2) Clause (1) (b) does not apply to a motor vehicle that is equipped with a mirror or mirrors securely attached to the motor vehicle and placed in such a position and maintained in such a condition as to afford the driver, otherwise than through the rear window, a clearly-reflected view of the roadway in the rear or of any vehicle approaching from the rear. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 74 (2).

Unfortunately, there are lazy drivers.

Pattenden mentions, "We see snow and ice covered vehicles all too often, especially after a significant snow storm."

A motorist that does not properly clean their vehicle of the winter elements is putting others at risk.

Pattenden says, "Every owner/operator has a responsibility to make sure that they are operating a safe vehicle. They must take the time prior to completing their daily inspection to clear off ice and snow that could pose as a hazard to other motorists."

Flying ice and snow can cost a driver thousands! And also adds the hassle of having to get your vehicle repaired.

Cleaning off your roof can be difficult, especially if you drive a SUV or truck. Snow brushes with extendible arms are very useful in these situations. Also you should top up on the windshield fluid, this is essential for cleanliness.

Now what to do if ice damages your car? It will be tough but the best thing to do is get the license plate of the car that left you with this damage. And Pattenden says you should report the issue to police.

We asked:

Are you now feeling the urge to go clean your car? Good! Happy dusting, scraping and shoveling.

BEAT THE TRAFFIC : Get The App. Get There Sooner. Beat the Traffic helps ease your commute with recommended routes and real-time adjustments. Beat the Traffic by downloading it today for Apple and now on Android devices as well.

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