P.E.I. RCMP remind drivers to fully clear snow from cars

As Islanders deal with winter weather and prepare for another dump of snow this weekend, RCMP are reminding drivers of the importance of fully clearing snow and ice from cars.

Drivers should clear snow not just from windows, but from the roof as well

RCMP on P.E.I. are reminding drivers to clear snow from the windows and roofs of their cars. (Radio-Canada)

As Islanders deal with winter weather and prepare for another dump of snow this weekend, RCMP are reminding drivers of the importance of fully clearing snow and ice from cars.

"This time of year when the weather changes quite often, we do find that some people don't take enough time to clean their cars off properly, and that can impair their vision when they're driving," said Sgt. Leanne Butler with Queens District RCMP. 

Butler says officers stop drivers fairly regularly who have not properly cleared off their cars.

'Take that few extra minutes'

Under the Highway Traffic Act, it is an offence to drive with the windshield or windows covered with snow, ice, or other matter that obstructs the driver's view.

However, Butler also encourages people to clear snow and ice from the top of their cars. She said that as a car heats up, the snow can easily slide off. 

Sgt. Leanne Butler says she understands many drivers are in a hurry, but asks them to take an extra few minutes to clear off snow and ice. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

"It can be very dangerous, right, because it just takes one second for your snow to slide in front of you, you can't see, and now a collision could happen," Butler said. 

"They're totally preventable, and so that's why we encourage people to take that few extra minutes to make sure that they're safe to take to the roads."

$100 fines for first offence

If a driver has an obstructed view, or if snow comes off the roof and onto another car or otherwise causes a hazard, they may face a $100 fine for the first offence under the Highway Traffic Act.

Butler said RCMP are primarily focused on safety and education, and will often ask people to clear off their cars when they are pulled over, rather than issuing a fine right away. 

She also noted that licence plates should be cleared off so they are visible. 

Drivers should slow down in snowy conditions, she said, and build extra time into their commutes.

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