LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY

Despite NJ Law, Many Vehicles Still Snow Covered

By Michael Hill
Correspondent

Three days after Jonas, a truck was southbound on the turnpike with snow — and maybe ice — on its tail and tumbling from its roof for miles in apparent violation of New Jersey law.

Joanna Aguilar, the owner of JJBB Transport & Freight in Garfield, tells NJTV News a friend removed all the snow from this truck.

She said she is positive somebody removed all the snow.

But, the owner’s tune changed when NJTV News told her what the video shows.

“Like I’m saying I heard it was removed. It was somebody private of mine that is doing it and I don’t know. They had a snow,” she said.

The owner said she was going to check on it because she’s aware of the law.

New Jersey law is pretty clear when it comes to removing snow and ice from vehicles after a storm. It applies to all vehicles and all exposed surfaces of vehicles. Violators face fines of $25 and $75. But if that snow or ice goes flying and causes property damage or hurts someone, the find shoots up from $200 to $1,000.

New Jersey reminds Parkway and Turnpike drivers with electronic signs: “Ice and snow, remove it before you go” but plenty of vehicles on the Garden State’s roadways still had snow on them on Tuesday.

“We are seeing less and less of this. We have created educational campaigns for the last few years and they have started to really effect the dangers we have seen. It is always a good reminder that you need to clear your entire car,” said Cathleen Lewis.

George Cannon says the company he drives an 18-wheeler for removes the snow before he hits the road.

“That’s what they’re supposed to do because we all know as drivers we can’t drive with that snow because we have blocks of ice. You stop and sometimes that block of ice just slides right in front or it gets — depending on what size it is — it could hit somebody’s car. So, it’s dangerous,” he said.

A message that seems to have gotten lost on a driver last year in Andover Township where snow from his car’s roof slid off when he stopped, blocking his view as he rammed into another vehicle.

“We’ve been to many incidents where windshields have been smashed from ice coming off roofs,” said New Hampshire firefighter Tom Ferguson.

Ferguson tells how he avoids becoming a statistic.

“I look real quick in my mirror to see if I can get to another lane or if I have to, I slow way down and let the ice fall in front of me. But if you’re on the highway at highway speed it’s tough to react,” he said.

Law enforcers say that’s the other danger. Between Friday and Tuesday state police say they have been busy reminding drivers of the law with 10 citations with 24 summonses and 58 warnings.