Senator Boscola Reintroduces Bill Requiring Snow Removal From Vehicles
The winter months are here and I have once again reintroduced legislation that would require motorists to clear snow and ice off their cars and trucks before driving.
Leaving snow and ice on your vehicle can be dangerous and even fatal to other motorists and pedestrians. Senate Bill 266 is a measure that is meant to educate and prevent injuries or fatalities. It’s just common sense and my bill makes it the law.
Under my bill, drivers must make “all reasonable efforts” to remove accumulated snow or ice from their vehicles before driving. If a law enforcement officer believes accumulated ice or snow may pose a threat to persons or property, a driver could be fined from $25 to $75.
Too many people let highway winds do their snow removal for them, and they don’t realize that soft and seemingly harmless snow can easily freeze, harden and turn into chunks of ice that will eventually dislodge from a moving vehicle. These icy projectiles can strike another vehicle, smashing the windshield and causing a driver to swerve and lose control or directly strike the driver causing injury or death.
Through enhanced awareness, most drivers take the effort to remove snow and ice from their hoods and roofs before driving, but others too often skip it because they're in a rush or don’t understand how potentially dangerous it is.
Current law that I had pushed and fought for says if snow or ice falls or is dislodged from a vehicle, causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle is subject to a fine. That fine ranges from $200 to $1,000 for each offense. However, we need to strengthen the current law by deterring people from leaving ice on their car -- preventing tragedies before they happen.
Pennsylvania’s Texting Ban Takes Effect March 2012
Under a new law that takes effect on March 8, 2012, drivers of all ages are prohibited from using their mobile phone or any similar device for the purposes of reading, writing or sending a text message while driving a motor vehicle on the roads in the Commonwealth.
Under the new law, texting while driving is classified as a primary offense, which will allow a police officer to pull over a driver if the officer sees a driver texting. If an individual is reading, selecting or entering a phone number or name for the purpose of making a phone call, that individual would not be violating the texting ban. Language within this law also says that you may pull off to the side of the road, put your vehicle in ‘park’ and use your phone to text.
If an individual is convicted of texting while driving under the new ban, the driver faces a fine of $50 for each infraction. Further, the statewide texting ban will supersede and preempt any and all related local ordinances.
Pennsylvania now joins more than 30 other states that already have a ban on texting while driving. This law is intended to encourage drivers to keep their eyes on the road and reduce distractions.
Remember, this new law takes effect on March 8, 2012.