Newly introduced legislation would require drivers in Delaware to clear their vehicles of snow and ice before getting on the road after a winter weather event if passed.

As a matter of safety, courtesy and common sense, AAA Mid-Atlantic supports Senate Bill 58.

"Anyone who drives I-95 or Route 1 during snowy weather has probably had to dodge snow or ice flying off the vehicle in front of them," said Ken Grant, public and government affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic in Delaware. "Driving with accumulated snow or ice on top of a vehicle is a clear danger to other roadway users."

AAA supports the proactive approach of giving law enforcement the authority to stop a vehicle when an officer believes that accumulated ice or snow on the vehicle poses a hazard. In the end, it is incumbent upon each of us as drivers to ensure our vehicles are not only safe for us, but for others on the road as well.

As proposed in Delaware, SB-58 would place a duty on drivers to clean ice and snow off of their vehicles prior to driving. Law enforcement would be able to stop vehicles they believe pose a threat to other roadway users with a civil penalty of not less than $25 or more than $75 for each offense

However, if dislodged snow and ice strike another vehicle or pedestrian causing injury or property damage, civil penalties increase to not less than $200 or more than $1,000. The penalty for commercial vehicles will not be less than $500 or more than $1,500.

Neighboring states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, have such laws on the books, and AAA publicizes “clearance of snow from vehicle” laws during snow storms.

AAA believes that SB-58 would reduce the number and seriousness of crashes caused by snow or ice becoming dislodged from motor vehicles.

Senate Bill 58 is sponsored by Sen. Laura Sturgeon and was assigned to the Senate Transportation Committee.

For more, visit aaa.com.