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New bill would require Maine drivers to clear off snow from their car roofs

Efforts are being made to require Maine drivers to clear off snow from their car roofs as it only takes a little time for flying ice and snow to cause a crash.

“I’ve also heard from a couple of constituents who have had recent accidents where snow and ice came off on the interstate and smashed through their windshield and almost caused an accident,” Representative Dustin White (R-Mars Hill) said. “Everybody thinks already that this is against the law but there’s nothing in statute currently.”

Present law states Maine drivers only have to clear off their windshields and side windows, but a new bill would need them to clear off their roofs as well.

“We’ve seen those drivers with this much snow on top of their vehicle and we know that’s not safe,” Dan Goodman of AAA Northern New England said.

A study by AAA saw 46 percent of all weather-related crashes occur during the winter.

“For a few seconds, you lose that valuable visibility that is so important on the roads in bad New England weather,” Goodman said.

White is set to bring the bill before the legislative council Thursday.

“So in order to get this passed, I’ll need a majority vote by the legislative council,” White said.

Even if the legislature doesn’t take it up, he hopes it will bring awareness regarding the issue.

“To remind people to take that extra couple minutes,” White said. “Take the snow and ice off the roof of your car.”

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