HARRISBURG — Jan. 27, 2016 – In opening comments to fellow state Senate Transportation Committee members, Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh) today urged approval of her legislation that would require truckers to remove snow and ice from their tractor-trailers before driving.

“This bill is about safety and responsibility,” Boscola said. “Safety for motorists and truckers alike, and responsibility for freight and shipping companies to be a good corporate neighbor and to install appropriate snow removal equipment.”

Under her bill (Senate Bill 94), truckers would be required to make “all reasonable efforts” to remove accumulated snow or ice from their rigs before driving. If a police officer determines that accumulated ice or snow “may pose a threat to persons or property,” a driver could be fined from $25 to $75.

Boscola said current law only applies if ice debris causes serious bodily injury or death (fines ranges from $200 to $1,000 for each offense). She said her proposal would strengthen the existing law by deterring drivers from leaving ice on their trucks — preventing tragedies before they happen.

“It’s a proactive approach to addressing the serious safety issue”, the Senator added.

Boscola said her legislation was prompted by the tragic death of a local woman, Christine Lambert, who was killed by an 8-inch chunk of flying ice while driving to visit her family on Christmas Day in 2005. Boscola has re-introduced the legislation in every ensuing legislative session.

Lambert’s husband, Frank Lambert, testified at the hearing, discussing the horrific incident and the impact on his family.

Supporting the bill and referring to how ice on a vehicle is an obvious hazard, State Police Maj. Edward Hoke, who serves as director of the Bureau of Patrol, testified, “If it’s predictable, then it’s preventable.”

Boscola openly offered to work with the trucking industry over its concerns that the bill might be too onerous or difficult for truckers to adhere to in certain situations.

“My bill allows for an exemption from the requirement if reasonable efforts are made to remove snow and ice,” Boscola said. “If this language doesn’t satisfy the trucking community, I would be happy to work with them on language they can support.”

Commenting that “if there’s a will, there’s a way,” Boscola praised the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Lehigh Valley for building a scraper system using scrap metal from its facility. She said the system only cost the company around $200 to install.  “Too many truckers let highway winds do their snow removal for them,” Boscola said. “But snow sometimes freezes, hardens and turn into chunks of ice that can dislodge from a moving vehicle.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Attached are two web resolution photos of (Sen. Lisa Boscola at today’s hearing), and (Frank Lambert testifying before the committee). Please contact ctocci@pasenate.com if you need high resolution versions of these photos.