Snow Removal Laws

I had planned to start this article with the sort of weak joke that we writers seem to find fun to write — something along the lines of ‘Removal Laws are Snow Joke’  — and give a light hearted look at some of the snow removal laws around the country. But, after doing just a few moments of research I realized just how inappropriate that would be. Some of these laws are pretty harsh and they are a big source of concern for the trucking industry, especially for drivers. Frankly, a great deal of the laws were written by people whose only experience with trucks is with the ones they tailgate on the turnpike. If any of these lawmakers knew what standing on top of a trailer after a snowstorm, broom and scraper in hand, was actually like, the laws would probably be a lot different.

However, as unpopular as these laws are, they are laws and the penalties for violating them can be tough. This is especially true when an accident is caused. Case in point, just a few days ago, a trucker in New Jersey got hauled in front of a judge after snow fell from his truck and injured a driver. With these laws in effect, it is important that drivers are aware of what they need to do.

Below is a list of states with Snow removal laws in place:

Alabama Citation If Vision Is Obscured
Alaska $50 Fine
Arkansas No Allowance For Snow Or Ice When The Truck Is Weighed
Connecticut Drivers Can Be Fined For Falling Snow And Ice. Full Removal Law Has Been Passed, Will Go Into Effect In 2013
District Of Columbia No Fines, But Trucks With Heavy Snow Will Be Pulled Over
Georgia No Law, But Law-Enforcement Have Been Known To Use Other Laws To Punish Drivers (Loose Load, Overweight
Indiana Prohibited From Entering The Indiana Turnpike
Maryland No Allowance For Snow Or Ice When The Truck Is Weighed
Massachusetts New Law Pending. Currently Trucks Are Stopped For Violating Tort Hazard Laws
Michigan No Allowance For Snow Or Ice When The Truck Is Weighed. Falling Snow Can Be Ticketed Under General Vehicle Rules
Nebraska According To ATA: ” Warning Ticket Is Issued For A Truck That Is 5% Or Less Over Gross Weight. Minimum Ticket Is $25 Plus Court Costs Of $45. In Active Storm, Enforcement Officers Will Allow Driver To Clear Snow/Ice Buildup Prior To Reweighing.”*
New Hampshire Driver/Carrier Can Be Charged With Negligence
New Jersey Any Vehicle With ‘A Dangerous Accumulation’ Of Snow/Ice Is Banned From Public Roads (Tickets $25-$75). Falling Snow Or Ice Can Be Punished With Fines Of $500-$1500 And A Court Appearance
North Dakota If The Vehicle Is Overweight, Snow Must Be Removed (And The Vehicle Reweighed Before It Can Go Back On The Roads)
Ohio No Allowance For Snow Or Ice When The Truck Is Weighed. Falling Snow Is Punished As A Loose Load
Oregon If The Vehicle Is Overweight, Snow Must Be Removed (And The Vehicle Reweighed Before It Can Go Back On The Roads)
Pennsylvania Fines Of $200-$1000 If Snow Or Ice Falls And Causes And Accident
South Carolina Falling Snow Is Punished As A Loose Load
West Virginia In Some Rare Cases, Falling Snow/Ice Has Been Treated As A Loose Load. Usually It Is Considered A Road Hazard
Wisconsin Rare Cases Of Loose Load Citations
*http://www.Truckline.Com/Advissues/Safety/Documents/Snow%20Removal%20Laws%20December%202010.Pdf

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