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Lazy Massachusetts drivers to face $500 fine or jail

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dontoe, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [​IMG] Bill aims to clear snow, ice off autos

    Lazy drivers to face $500 fine or jail

    By Lucas Wall, Globe Staff | September 14, 2005


    Paula Waugh was shopping two days after a winter storm when a chunk of ice flew off the top of a tractor-trailer, bounced off the hood of her Chevy Blazer, and smashed into her windshield. The next thing she remembers is being stopped on the road, her face covered in blood.

    ''When I saw that ice coming off, I just figured it would hit the pavement," she said. ''You don't think about it coming through the windshield or hitting you."

    Waugh said yesterday she still suffers nightmares 2 1/2 years after the incident on Route 202 in Winchendon near the New Hampshire border left her with a broken nose and other facial injuries. Hoping to prevent a similar accident from happening to someone else, Waugh pushed her state representative to craft a bill requiring motorists to clean snow or ice off their vehicles.

    Yesterday, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation heard the proposal, which seeks to impose a fine of up to $500 or a jail term of up to six months for drivers who threaten public safety by failing to scrape their vehicle clean.

    The committee's chairmen said they support the bill's purpose and expect members on the panel will refine the language in coming weeks. The bill's sponsor, Representative Brian Knuuttila, said it is urgent his colleagues make it law before winter.

    ''We're not too far away from the first snow flying," said Knuuttila, a Democrat from Gardner. ''We've got to make people aware that if they persist in this type of negligent behavior, someone is going to get seriously injured. We need to have some serious negative sanctions."

    Waugh said that clearing snow is a simple step that every driver should take to ensure the safety of those around them.

    ''It's a matter of taking a little extra time," she said. ''I've had people tell me they wouldn't want to fool with something like that, that they don't have time to clean off their cars. But they have no idea what that ice can do."

    If the bill passes, Massachusetts could become the first state to require motorists to scrape their vehicles clear of snow and ice before they drive.

    Melissa Savage, a transportation policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, said her group's research did not find a mandatory scraping law in any state, though lawmakers in New Hampshire have recently debated similar legislation. Many states have laws prohibiting driving a vehicle with an obstruction. But that would only cover people driving with snow covering their windows, she said, not anything like chunks atop the vehicle that could become projectiles or obscure visibility for other motorists.

    Officials with some national traffic-safety groups also said yesterday they were not aware of any scraping laws. ''That's a real interesting piece of legislation," said Jeremy Gunderson, spokesman for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington, D.C.-based alliance of consumer, health, and safety groups and insurance companies. ''It does seem to make practical sense."

    In 2003, the most recent year for which federal data are available, there were about 261,000 traffic collisions in which snow or ice was cited as a factor. That includes 858 accidents involving a fatality and 58,000 involving injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Spokeswoman Elly Martin said there's no breakdown, however, on how many of those involved flying chunks of ice or snow hitting other vehicles or impairing visibility.

    Art Kinsman, director of government affairs for AAA Southern New England, said the bill has merit. ''It's a pain in the neck to get up and get that stuff off your vehicle, but when people just leave it, it can create some real problems for people who are following behind," Kinsman said. ''People who don't clear their car off are lazy and irresponsible. They should be fined."

    However, he contended that the proposed penalty is too high and said police officers might be reluctant to enforce the law.

    Representative Joseph F. Wagner, a Chicopee Democrat and cochairman of the Transportation Committee, said the language in the bill needs to be fine-tuned. As written, it would ban ''operating a motor vehicle with an accumulation of snow or ice which constitutes a threat to public safety."

    Wagner said the language is too vague, recalling an occasion where a snowplow on an overpass knocked snow onto his vehicle below. Also, snow could easily accumulate on thousands of vehicles plowing through a heavy storm, he noted. ''There is some gray area here we need to try to figure out how to deal with," he said. ''But I don't think it's unreasonable that folks should clear their car of snow and ice."

    Lucas Wall can be reached at lwall@globe.com. [​IMG]

    © Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.
     
  2. the beast

    the beast 1/2 ton status

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    :massholes: :woot:
     
  3. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Dude, just post a link to Fark everyday, jesus
     
  4. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Rather than waste your time insulting me. please just put me on your ignore list! :(
     
  5. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Sorry

    I didn't think about people who don't read Fark

    You can see my side though eh?

    Well sorry again
     
  6. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Actually, no! I see no reason for your continuing provocative statements!
     
  7. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    You're not looking hard enough

    If I am the only one annoyed so be it, but I see regurgitated news, my problem not yours

    I don't want to make enemies, especially of you, just call me unreasonable on this issue and drop it
     
  8. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    i don.t get how ice flying off a semi trailer has anything to do with cars? i did see it one time a car behind the trailer was covered completely. i saw it lift off and thought(WOW), when it landed the t-bird hammered the brakes. that's the thing i really don't get, the snow and ice on cars slides off from the heat inside.AND how is a truck driver going to clean the top of his trailer?with it froze on , he'll never get it off if he was stupid enough to climb up and try. :laugh: i do hate peeps that don't clean thier windows off and can't see where they are going though.
     
  9. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze 1/2 ton status

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    I kind of like watching what Dontoe dredges up.
     
  10. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Yeah yeah, I'm looking for my asshole hat....
     
  11. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    That's why the young'un backed out in front of my wife last year and she hit him with her almost cherry '86 K-5.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2005
  12. botboy

    botboy 1/2 ton status

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    I know this woman is obviously quite a bit dense, and determined...but when's the last time that a chunk of ice hit your vehicle that was heavy enough to crack, much less smash out the windshield of a small SUV?

    I think this should have been a good lesson to her, and that lesson is DONT TAILGATE 18 WHEELERS.
     
  13. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    DON does find crazy stuff. :bow: :haha:
     
  14. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    thats what i mean, idiots that just asume they have a clear shot. i have to clean off three vehicles and shovel the drive before i go to work, and then there is a lazy pos that clears just enough to see .all i can say is, JR is going to be out there this year so they better see me!!!! :haha: :haha: BOOOM :haha: :haha:
     
  15. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    I was thinkin the same thing when reading this, the little story about the ice flying off the truck, but the laws they are talking about are for fines towards people in the cars who don't scrape off the ice, no where, that i read, (quickly i might add) did i see anything saying they were going to be enforcing this law towards the trucks.

    This, if they do enforce it towards truck, would be very stupid, do they know exactly how high those trailers are??? 13' 6" and some are 14", but probably not many out there, anyhoo, for a driver of a truck, to attempt clilmbing up on the top of this trailer, with ice and snow, would be an almost impossible task.

    Would need a real tall ladder, and the skills to be able to walk on a VERY THIN ROOF!!! without falling through!! the ceilings are simply thin sheetmetal and some are a fiber material, with only aluminum braces.

    this law, is gay :rolleyes:
     
  16. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    "The law is Gay!!--well,so is marriage in MA!!

    I've been bombed by flying ice and snow many times while driving around here after a snowstorm--mostly by trailer trucks and vans that they failed to clean the snow off of..but I agree its pretty difficult to climb up on a trailer that high and not fall thru,especially if we get a foot or more of heavy wet snow like we often do around here.Some roofs on them cave in just from the weight of the snow!..last winter was especially tough,we had 9 feet of snow,25 storms!--and many were over 2' deep,one storm I measured 33 inches in my driveway!...and its often like wet cement!. :doah:

    I read this story in my hometown newspaper when the lady from Winchendon got hit with the ice last winter!..my older brother lives in Gardner Mass!--the next town over from Winchendon,and we are from Fitchburg Mass originally(a town 8 miles from Gardner,and my sister lives in Lunenburg,right next to Fitchburg!--small world huh??).. :laugh:

    I doubt if many "massholes" will obey the law--I bet they do what they always do--jump in their cars 5 minites before work,scrape a 6" peephole,and let the heater do the rest--I've used the snow on my vans roof as a tailgater discourager!--just punch the roof with your fist after its warm in the van,and huge slabs fly off ,causing the boob behind you 6" away to back off to where they should have been! :rolleyes: --guess I cant do that anymore!... :(

    If they aren't going to enforce the law on the trailer trucks ,they should not bust anyone for snow or ice on the roof in my opinion..we have enough stupid laws on the books here they can bust us for already...stay off the vehicles ass in front of you,and you wont have any trouble--I've yet to lose a windsheild to snow or ice,unless its due to kids throwing iceballs at you---lost more than one to jerks with BB and pellet guns though.. :mad:
     

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