Yesterday it felt like spring, while today reminds folks it’s winter in Pittsburgh. By Tuesday night, there could be a couple inches of snow on the ground – and on people’s vehicles.
So, I just want to say it now: Don’t be That Guy.
You know him. You’ve driven behind him during some winters past. He’s driving in the left-hand lane on state Route 19, with only a tiny circle of defrosted rear-windshield showing, snow piled on his roof and a chunk of ice trembling precariously from the rearview mirror.
This gentle reminder comes from a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer who handles a fair share of traffic tickets.
And yes, you can get a traffic ticket for being The Guy with All Kinds of Snow and Ice on His Car – it isn’t just an old wives tale.
That’s thanks to a Pennsylvania law enacted in 2006 that calls for motorists to remove snow and ice from their vehicles. The rationale is, it could get dislodged and possibly strike another vehicle or pedestrian, causing serious injury or even death.
The impetus for the law was the death of a woman whose windshield was shattered by ice that fell off a tractor trailer rig in 2005. The statute that addresses this is Title 75 Section 4524.
That means that if you’re That Guy driving on the interstate without having taken the time to clear off your vehicle, and a police officer driving behind you sees snow or ice fall from it, you could get a ticket. This is what is known as a “primary offense,” which means officers can stop you without other justification to go along with it.
And that means that you could end up paying a fine of at least $200 and as much as $1,000 for each offense. If snow or ice comes off your car and kills or injures someone, the fine is the higher one.
Don’t think you can just start the car and let it run for a while to clear it off. Leaving a car running and unattended is illegal, as well.
Any sort of traffic violation is taken quite seriously in Pennsylvania. So, if you get a ticket don’t think that you can pay the fine, accept your PennDot points, let your insurance rates go higher and do away with it. You can and should fight your ticket. There can be quite serious repercussions for getting a ticket and it can pose a great amount of problems. And thus, you need to hire an experienced Pittsburgh Traffic Ticket Attorney immediately. PennDot will continue to accumulate points to your driving record for the alleged violation. It can cause severe complexities such as hundreds and even thousands of dollars extra for car insurance premiums and run the risk of your license getting suspended if you keep accumulating such points.
A clean driving record is something which is always worth fighting for. So, if you are keen on fighting against the traffic tickets, or getting all the traffic charges against you lawfully reduced or dismissed, you must hire a reputed and skilled criminal defense attorney. A proficient attorney will also have a considerable amount of experience with regard to such charges so he will not only be well-versed and know which strategies to use, but also save you a significant amount of insurance costs for years. There are many reputed Pittsburgh Traffic Ticket Attorneys in this city, but you must be careful while hiring one.
Again, I’m a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer who deals with traffic tickets such as these ones all the time, and I would be happy to represent your interests in court.
But it might just be easier to give yourself a few extra minutes tomorrow – and before every snow-filled commute – to heat up your car and scrape off all the white stuff.