There oughta be a law

Driving home in the snow last Friday during the storm (my 40- to 60-minute commute took me 2.5 hours, but that's not the point), I was reminded of one of the things I have about winter driving: that people don't clean off their cars.

I did the best I could as I left work on Friday afternoon, but the freezing rain created an ice layer on my hood, roof and trunk. There wasn't anything I could do except wait for the heat of the car to melt them. As I rolled through the tunnel at slower than a snail's pace, the snow melted off and silently slid down my windshield or off my hood. Slowly, after an hour in the southbound 93 tunnel, the snow-covered logo and business name of the work van in front of me was revealed, too. It was kind of interesting because what little was visible under the snow at first looked almost like it would be a Starbucks logo. It turned out to be a heating and ventilation company from Malden instead.

It's not the slow melt and slide off that bothers me. It's the people who clean only the driver's front window and the windshield. I have even seen people driving with a porthole in the windshield. Why not drive with your eyes closed? That's about the same. It's just plain dangerous, and that's why there's a law against it. But, to my knowledge, there's no law about cleaning snow off the rest of the vehicle, and there should be.

The snow ended in the evening on Friday, but as I drove to work on Monday and Tuesday, my car was nearly hit twice by flying snow chunks flipping off vehicles flying down the highway. On Tuesday I was one lane over from a box truck with the company logo Lan-Tel Communications that hadn't been cleaned off, and an island of snow flipped off nearly hitting the car behind it. I am really surprised we haven't heard more on the news about cars being damaged (and people hurt) by patches of snow and ice flying off trucks and minivans at 60, 70 or 80 mph. But there oughta be a law. If there isn't one already, I propose a $100 fine for any personal vehicle, a $300 fine for any 2-axle commercial vehicle and a $200 fine per axle for any vehicle with more than two if they fail to clean the snow off their cars 24 hours after the storm. Anyone else with me on that?


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