Law Requires Motorists To Remove Ice And Snow From Vehicles, Violators Face Fines Ranging From $25 – $1,500

snow-carThe law requiring motorists to remove all ice and snow from their vehicles before traveling on the roads, has gone into effect this past October, as reported on TLS. Violators face tickets and fines. The law dictates that drivers shall make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated ice or snow from exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle prior to operation, which includes the hood, trunk, windshield, windows and roof of the vehicle, cab, truck, the top of a trailer or semitrailer being drawn by a motor vehicle, and the top of an intermodal freight container being carried by an intermodal chassis.

Violators may be stopped on a street or highway by a law enforcement officer who believes the accumulated ice or snow may pose a threat to persons or property and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25 or more than $75 for each offense regardless of whether any snow or ice is dislodged from the vehicle.

Fines increase to $200 to $1,000 when injuries or property damage occur. Commercial motor vehicle drivers face fines ranging from $500 to $1,500 for each offense.There are no points involved. TLS.

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The following is the statue of the law:

CHAPTER 138

AN ACT concerning ice and snow on motor vehicles, amending and supplementing P.L.1997,
c.124, and supplementing P.L.1948, c.454 (C.27:23-1 et seq.) and P.L.1991, c.252
(C.27:25A-1 et seq.).

BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1. Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.124 (C.39:4-77.1) is amended to read as follows:

C.39:4-77.1 Snow, ice dislodged from moving vehicle causing injury, property damage; penalties; public awareness campaign, data collection system.

1. a. (1) Each driver of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this State shall have an affirmative duty to make all reasonable efforts to remove accumulated ice or snow from exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle prior to operation, which surfaces shall include, but not be limited to, the hood, trunk, windshield, windows, and roof of the motor vehicle, the cab of a truck, the top of a trailer or semitrailer being drawn by a motor vehicle, and the top of an intermodal freight container being carried by an intermodalchassis. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection may be stopped on a street or highway by a law enforcement officer who believes the accumulated ice or snow may pose a threat to persons or property and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25 or more than $75 for each offense regardless of whether any snow or ice is dislodged from the motor vehicle. No motor vehicle points or automobile insurance eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) shall be assessed for a violation of this paragraph. Every day upon which a violation occurs shall be considered a separate violation, but no person shall be subject to more than one fine for a violation of this paragraph in a period of 24 consecutive hours.

(2) This subsection shall not apply to any driver of a motor vehicle operated during a snow or ice storm that began and continued for the duration of the motor vehicle’s operation or to any operator of a motor vehicle while it is parked.

(3) No fine shall be imposed pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection on the driver of a commercial motor vehicle, as the term is defined in R.S.39:1-1, that is traveling to a location where equipment or technology that is used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles is available, provided that the driver has not already passed a location with snow and ice removal equipment or technology after snow or ice shall have accumulated on the exposed surfaces of the commercial motor vehicle. In determining whether the vehicle has already passed a location with equipment or technology that is used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles, a law enforcement officer shall have the authority to inspect any documentation relating to the route traveled by the driver of the commercial motor vehicle prior to being stopped, including, but not limited to, a log book or map depicting the route traveled by the vehicle.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection:

(a) the person who is in physical possession of a motor vehicle at the time snow or ice accumulates on the exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle shall be responsible for removing the accumulated snow or ice from the exposed surfaces of the motor vehicle and shall be liable for a violation of the duty to remove accumulated snow or ice prior to operation of the motor vehicle pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection. If the driver of the motor vehicle was not in physical possession of the motor vehicle at the time the snow or ice accumulated, then such driver shall not be liable for a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(b) in the case of any trailer or semitrailer being drawn by a motor vehicle or of any vehicle or combination of vehicles carrying an intermodal freight container, the person, P.L. 2009, CHAPTER 138 2 including, but not limited to a shipper or consignee, who is in physical possession of the trailer,  semitrailer, or container at the time snow or ice accumulates on such trailer, semitrailer, or container shall be responsible for removing the accumulated snow or ice from the trailer, semitrailer, or container and shall be liable for a violation of the duty to remove accumulated snow or ice prior to operation of a motor vehicle pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection. If the driver of the motor vehicle was not in physical possession of the trailer, semitrailer, or container at the time the snow or ice accumulated, then such driver shall not be liable for a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

b.When snow or ice is dislodged from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing injury or property damage, the following penalties shall apply: The operator of a non-commercial motor vehicle shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200 or more than $1,000 for each offense. The operator, owner, lessee, bailee or any one of the aforesaid of a commercial motor vehicle shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,500 for each offense. No motor vehicle points or automobile insurance eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) shall be assessed for a violation of this subsection.

c. The Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall establish a public awareness campaign that educates the public on the importance of removing snow and ice from the exposed surfaces of motor vehicles prior to the operation of such vehicles. This campaign shall educate the public on the potential dangers associated with failing to remove snow or ice from motor vehicles as well as on the penalties that may be imposed as a result of failing to remove snow or ice from a motor vehicle prior to operation.

d. The Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, in conjunction with the Division of State Police and other law enforcement agencies, shall establish and maintain a data collection system to be used to determine the number and seriousness of motor vehicle accidents caused by snow or ice becoming dislodged from motor vehicles. In its annual report to the Legislature pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1987, c.284 (C.27:5F-33), the Division of Highway Traffic Safety shall provide an analysis of the information gathered through the data collection system and any recommendations, including any proposed legislation, for reducing the number and seriousness of accidents caused by snow or ice becoming dislodged from motor vehicles.

e. All fines imposed and collected in the enforcement of this section shall be forwarded by the person to whom they are paid to the State Treasurer, who shall annually deposit those moneys in the “Motor Vehicle Snow and Ice Removal Safety Fund” established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2009, c.138 (C.39:4-77.2).

C.39:4-77.2 “Motor Vehicle Snow and Ice Removal Safety Fund.”

2. a.There is established in the General Fund a separate, nonlapsing, dedicated account to be known as the “Motor Vehicle Snow and Ice Removal Safety Fund.” All fines imposed and collected as a result of enforcement of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.124 (C.39:4-77.1) shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Motor Vehicle Snow and Ice Removal Safety Fund account. The fund shall be administered by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

b. Moneys in the account shall be used exclusively for the following purposes:

(1) To offset the costs associated with the public awareness campaign established by the Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety pursuant to subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.124 (C.39:4-77.1); P.L. 2009, CHAPTER 138 3

(2)To offsetthecosts associated with the data collection system established and ,maitained by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety pursuant to subsection d. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.124 (C.39:4-77.1); and

(3)To establish a grant program to provide incentives to encourage private companies to purchase, install, and maintain equipment and technology to be used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles, as the term is defined in R.S.39:1-1. Recipients of grants provided pursuant to this subsection shall place snow and ice removal equipment and technology at locations around the State that are convenient and easily accessible to commercial motor vehicles, including, but not limited to, service areas, weigh stations, inspection facilities, ports, terminals, and other intermodal transportation facilities.

C.27:23-49 Equipment provided by New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

3. Subject to the rights and security interests of the holders from time to time of bonds or notes heretofore or hereafter issued by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the authority shall purchase, install, and maintain, or enter into contracts or agreements providing for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of, equipment and technology to be used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles, as the term is defined in R.S.39:1-1, at locations along the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway that are convenient and easily accessible to such commercial motor vehicles, including, but not limited to, service areas, weigh stations, and inspection facilities.

C.27:25A-44 Equipment provided by South Jersey Transportation Authority.

4. Subject to the rights and security interests of the holders from time to time of bonds or notes heretofore or hereafter issued by the South Jersey Transportation Authority, the authority shall purchase, install, and maintain, or enter into contracts or agreements providing for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of, equipment and technology to be used to remove snow and ice from commercial motor vehicles, as the term is defined in R.S.39:1-1, at locations along the Atlantic City Expressway that are convenient and easily accessible to such commercial motor vehicles, including, but not limited to, service areas, weigh stations, and inspection facilities.

5. This act shall take effect on the 365th day following the date of enactment. The Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety may take anticipatory action in advance of the effective date as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act.
Approved October 19, 2009.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. #2 why does no other state need this law? Is NJ the only state where it snows, or where people drive cars? I guess not, then there is no difference between NJ and any other state, so not quite sure what you mean.

  2. bp oil spill says:
    DECEMBER 26, 2010 AT 11:50 AM
    dumb law. no other state has this law-

    No other state has to tell their residents to clean off their cars either..but we do..because NO ONE LISTENS to common sense. if you clean off your car it will save you on gas as well not a lot of weight to move around.

  3. 2 years ago we were driving down the highway at 65 MPH when a huge block of ice fell off of a van 2 cars in front of us. It flew in the air and smashed our windshield. BH miraculously noone was hurt but we were stuck on a highway at 12 oclock at night, had the expense of towing and replacing the windshield because it’s considered a hit and run… while that van went on his merry way unaware of the damage he caused. It is a very important law!!

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