'Glass spewed everywhere': Manitoban shares experience that shows danger of snowy vehicles
Gary Granke says snow from truck roof shattered his windshield on Manitoba highway
Gary Granke knows all too well that what seems like soft snow can become dangerous and destructive when it flies off a vehicle.
It's likely a lot more people have taken the extra few minutes with the snow brush clearing the roof of their vehicles after word spread of the heavy price tag that snow can hold.
A Winnipeg man said he was "dumbfounded" when he was slapped with a nearly $240 ticket for driving with too much snow on the roof of his van, CBC News reported on Saturday, but Granke understands why it happened.
"I thought that was probably the correct thing to do. I think people need to be more aware of it," said Granke.
While travelling between Winnipeg and his hometown, Springfield, Man., Granke's windshield was destroyed by a snow chunk, and a spray of glass hit his wife and son.
Snow & ice piled up on your vehicle is not only unsafe, but also considered an unsecured load & a $238 fine <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rcmpmb?src=hash">#rcmpmb</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/trafficTues?src=hash">#trafficTues</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/snowbrush?src=hash">#snowbrush</a> <a href="https://t.co/PkFWPtAg6n">pic.twitter.com/PkFWPtAg6n</a>—@rcmpmb
"We were doing about 100 [km/h] and the trucks were coming the other way, [100 km/h]. A piece of ice flew off the truck and went through our windshield," Granke said, recalling the experience from January 1989.
"Glass spewed everywhere. My wife got quite a bit of glass cut all over her face and our son got glass cut, plus glass in the eye, and the rear view mirror clipped me on the head and I was dazed."
Another driver saw what happened and drove the family to the police, who took them to the hospital to be treated.
While there wasn't permanent damage, it took a couple of weeks to heal, Granke said.
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The rules about snow on vehicles fall under the securement of vehicle loads portion of Manitoba's Highway Traffic Act.
The law says cargo transported by a vehicle must be "contained, covered, immobilized or secured" so it can't be dislodged from the vehicle or shift to the extent it adversely affects the vehicle's stability, although it doesn't mention snow specifically.
While online debate has become heated, Granke said he thinks there needs to be more awareness about the law.
More importantly, people need to clear the roofs of their vehicles, he said.
"[It's] Manitoba. You do get significant snow. I do believe there should be more education about that kind of thing."