Curious About A Law Against Having Snow On Your Vehicle

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been days since our last snowstorm ended, but you can still see some people driving around with snow piled on the roof of their cars.

Al in Seabrook, New Hampshire Declared his Curiosity, saying, “Is there a law against having snow on the roof of your vehicle?

Well, it depends upon where you live.

New Hampshire does have a law against leaving snow on your car. A first offense will cost you between $250 and $500. A second offense could cost you up to $1,000.

Massachusetts does not have a law about clearing snow. However, state troopers in the Bay State can cite you for driving an unsafe vehicle. That fine is only about $50.

More from Declare Your Curiosity

One Comment

  1. Cynic says:

    Have you ever been driving behind a 55 Footer on the Expressway and have the sheet of ice and Snow lift up off the top of The Trailer? It’s no fun.

  2. Bruce says:

    Worse than snow on the roof; how about snow on the lights; especially taillights??? Now there’s a hazard/accident waiting to happen

  3. Ron says:

    Growing up in NY with my parents we always cleared off the tops of the cars as well, or else we had to go back out and do it again. It’s not only courteous to other drivers, but it lessens the chance of having a sheet of snow and ice sliding down over your windshield when you hit the brakes. Add to it the fact that the sound of it sliding around on the car roof can distract you from other sounds your car could be making.

  4. Italo says:

    Three letters: SUV. And the vehicles and drivers they stand for. They’re hard-wired to be inconsiderate and self-absorbed. If they can’t reach their vehicle roof snow or don’t want to take the time to clear it off, then don’t buy or drive them. And then they get angry wondering why people don’t want to let them in or by on the roads in front of them. Clear it off like the rest of us.

    1. response says:

      Italo – I drive a SUV and I am not inconsiderate or self absorbed and although I am a little height challenged, I clean the roof off! Clear off all lights and plate.

      There are a lot of vehicles out there, all different types, that have snow on the roof.

      1. Paula says:


        I agree I drive an SUV on 93 everyday and let me tell you, I see more small cars that have snow all over them and not cleaned off than SUV’s. I clean off my entire SUV lights, roof, plates I mean everything. It is not the type of car and or SUV you drive, LET”S FACE IT, IT’S THE PERSON DRIVING!! And over the years people have become ruder and ruder and less polite to others on the road. Just today driving to work people had just the drivers side windows cleaned off (front & back) a little small area with the rest covered by snow (People just don’t care anymore).

    2. sean says:

      Well that’s just ignorant especially since I have seen more sedans with lazy ignorant drivers who can’t clean their roofs off than I have SUV’s.

  5. HummerH2 says:

    Italo – I have all wheel drive and 325 ponies under my hood. I don’t need to wait for someone to let me in. You’d be well advised to yield to my right of way.

    1. Robert says:

      Exactly what Italo was talking about. Thanks.

  6. bev says:

    “They’re hard-wired to be inconsiderate and self-absorbed.” seems to describe HummerH2 perfectly.

  7. boston patriot says:

    i got pulled over in MA by state trooper who said the fine maxes at 0. i emerged unscathed

  8. HummerH2 says:

    Bev…I also have a 150 watt Harmon Kardon 10 speaker surround sound stereo system in my H2. Two words…”make way”. I don’t have time to piddle behind a Ford Escort. I have places to go. Money doesn’t sleep sporto.

    1. Robert says:

      Ok, ok. We get it. Italo was right. You can stop now. We’re convinced.

    2. unimpressed with arrogance says:

      Good one HummerH2, we are very impressed with you, but not nearly as impressed as you are with yourself. I am sure that cranking sound system really helps in the snow and ice. You are a caricature of the stereotypical Hummer driver.

    3. considerateSUVr says:

      I suspect HummerH2 might also suffer from some anatomical inadequacy, thus the pathetic overcompensation in the car and ego department.

      1. HummerH2 says:

        Want a test drive? You might change your mind.

      2. MSW says:

        You nailed it considerate. Hummer for him, to compensate for his anatomical inadequacy and a Navigator for wifey to satisfy her desire to ride something substantial.

  9. Bob says:

    Yeah, money doesn’t sleep at the 24 hour McDonalds. Nice one Gecko.

  10. fishercat says:

    Snow and ice on the roof of your car is a safety issue. In NJ they have a law against snowy cars because a state trooper got killed when ice from a car went through his windshield. Chances are slim that the snow on your car will cause an accident but do you really want to live with the consequences if it does?

  11. Chinacat says:

    Wow H2 You’re annoying. You are making a bad name for us SUV drivers. I drive an SUV, but I also drive my Civic as much as possible for economical and environmental reasons. The SUV is for four wheel drive as I have lived in New England my whole life and would like to be as safe as possible driving my child around. So please, don’t judge SUV drivers. I am probably the most considerate, unselfish person you will ever meet.

    1. w says:

      I have never met you, thus I cannot judge you, but considerate and unselfish are not terms EVER used to describe Mass. drivers.

  12. Chinacat says:

    Well that solves that, because I live in New Hampshire :)

  13. Inquiry says:

    WBZ- Could you also address the law about headlight usage in rain, snow, fog, or other inclement weather? I grew up hearing that if you need to turn on your wipers, even for just a moment or in the middle of the day, your headlights should also be on. Driving in MA recently, I’m conviced most drivers don’t know this, or choose to ignore it. I think some could use a reminder.

  14. Mann says:

    I don’t care what you drive. Clear the snow from the roof of your vehicle before hitting the road. It may even save your own life.

  15. Jen says:

    People are L-A-Z-Y.

  16. Paula says:


    I agree I drive an SUV on 93 everyday and let me tell you, I see more small cars that have snow all over them and not cleaned off than SUV’s. I clean off my entire SUV lights, roof, plates I mean everything. It is not the type of car and or SUV you drive, LET”S FACE IT, IT’S THE PERSON DRIVING!! And over the years people have become ruder and ruder and less polite to others on the road. Just today driving to work people had just the drivers side windows cleaned off (front & back) a little small area with the rest covered by snow (People just don’t care anymore).

    1. sean says:

      Italo is in the mindset that SUVs are these big gas guzzlers when the reality is that many of them now get just as good mileage as sedans and many of them are now hybrids. I agree, it’s not the car, it’s the driver.

  17. MSW says:

    For the vast majority of SUV drivers Italo hit the nail right on the head – of course like anything else there are always a few exceptions.

    Not to worry about HummerH2 – his leased SUV will most likely be repo’d from Roxbury any day now

    1. HummerH2 says:

      Paid in cash sweethart

      1. cynic says:

        The Drug trade must be booming,or you just signed for 6 years with the Sox.

  18. brat says:

    Two years ago I was hit by a guy backing up in a parking lot. He didn’t clear off any of his windows so he didn’t see me. Because I was pushing a shopping cart and it fell over, he just assumed that he only hit the cart and fled. A woman called the police and they gave him 5 citations. Reckless operation, driving with obstructed view, leaving the scene of pedestrian accident. property damage and drum roll please, driving an unsafe vehicle. The woman who called the cops was in stitches when the jerk tried to blame me.

  19. HummerH2 says:

    Actually, none of the venom cast towards SUV drivers applies to me here. Nor, my wife’s Navigator (fully loaded winter package, by the way). We both park in a heated 3 bay garage. So find some other vehicle class to incriminate. When you see my duel beam halogen brights in your rear mirror you’ll know what to do…move over!

    1. MSW says:

      Or when you see the halogen brights, slam on the brakes – that’s always fun.

    2. Tom says:

      hahahahahaha… Heated garage, nice waste of money idiot. Wouldn’t want the value of your daily drivers to depreciate. Unless you have a 95 Bronco with two subs and a 4″ lift you’re looking to keep cherry. I bet you tow your HD Road King to bike week with your H2, instead of riding it.

      1. HummerH2 says:

        Don’t ride a Harley. Only Jet Skis and Snowmobiles. And yes, I tow them to the destination. I also don’t worry about depreciation since I use accelerated sum method and trade in every two years. Looking at a Benz S600 AMG as we speak.

  20. H.T. O'Herlihy says:

    Never mind the SUV bashing, the issue at hand is the inconsiderate substandard human beings who are too important and/or lazy to clean the snow off the roofs of their cars. There should be a law and it should allow the police to arrest you for driving in such a manner, as they are causing danger to those around them on the road.

  21. Lucy says:

    I drive a crossover now and I still manage to get all the snow on my vehicle off of it. There is no excuse. None. It’s just pure selfishness and laziness. It’s unacceptable because it is a real hazard. You can tell by how some people drive – no regard for others. Tunnel vision. Anti-social …. Fine them and make them pay.

    1. H.T. O'Herlihy says:

      Fines alone won’t fix the problem. People who do this need to be held accountable for their actions.

  22. Lucy says:

    HummerH2 is like a lot of luxury car drivers I see – think they are owed everything from everyone else. Snobs. Jerks. Losers. You can’t buy class. You can’t buy real respect. You certainly can’t buy love. Feel sorry for them because they don’t have a clue what is truly valuable and worthy. It’s not what you can buy or what you have. It is what you have to work for that matters – it’s what you give.

  23. HummerH2 says:

    HT Good Call!
    I agree. Let’s make it illegal to be both stupid and lazy. We can arrest and round up everyone draining on society. But if we did that, there would be nothing left of the democratic party.

    1. H.T. O'Herlihy says:

      Off topic. Drive your Hummer into a wall.

  24. Bud says:

    Clear the snow and ice off your vehicle’s roof. My windshield was recently smashed, while I was traveling 75 mph by a sheet of ice that flew off an 18 wheeler. It is only by the grace of god that my family and I survived.

    1. H.T. O'Herlihy says:

      And do you think any actual penalties would have been taken against the driver of that 18-wheeler or the company it is owned by had they caught him? No, not unless you were killed. Precedent must be set. Negligence must be punished. It will only happen once enough people die from accidents caused by this type of negligence.

    2. Cynic says:

      What was the Speed Limit Bud?

  25. timma says:

    operating an unsafe vehicle is a moving violation so WBZ you forgot to add the surcharge 100.00 per year for 6 years = a 650.00 ticket

  26. Nicole says:

    I have an SUV and I think it’s appauling how people in SUV’s and regular sedans can’t clear the snow. I love seeing the morons with 4 inches or more on their car with a little hole in the front to see out and in the back to see out. It’s called LAZY people not self absorbed.

  27. HummerH2 says:

    Heard that Nicole….you go girl !!

  28. macmum says:

    The worst offenders out there are the tractor trailer trucks. (no offense to you all that DO clear your rig) But even 3 days after the last storm, I ended up behind one from Maine with a huge load of snow on the back fo the trailer. It blew a snow screen all the way behind this guy as he flew down Rte 3 at 60 miles an hour! The problem with snow on car roofs is that you’re blinding the guy behind you! Be considerate and drive safely for everyone’s sake please! I drive an extended body Denali and I never pull out of the driveway until all the snow is off the roof! No excuses for this behavior at all!

  29. Cynic says:

    No one has mentioned the 55 footer in from of them on the expressway with 6 inches of snow and ice on the top of the trailer that lifts up and flies off in front of them. This is a real danger. When is the last time a Trucker cleaned off his rig before going on the road?

  30. metoo says:

    I ride my dirt bike in the winter, and am constantly on the lookout for the inconsiderate idiots that don’t clear their cars off. While the snow blowing off, may only cause a broken windsheild on another car, just imagine what it would do to someone on a motorcyle or a pedestrian? Since I ride in NH and VT. I would say the vast majority of the offenders are from Mass and Ct. Since we have a law in NH covering this behavior, it sure would be nice if the police actually enforced it!

  31. emom says:

    snow covered fools

  32. 1stackmack says:

    hey everyone,its been a long time since i posted so heres a few hummer h2 make your self useful,put nice 7.5 ft fisher plow on that little truck. 2 i don’t mind powder on cars and suvs and even semi trailers.its the frozen chunk that lifts off like a wing cause the lack of caring.more in a minute.

  33. 1stackmack says:

    also,its the chunks of ice on the undercarrage of trucks that kick up from the wonderfully smooth roads. but we can’t as truckers can’t get every spec of ice off.

    1. macmum says:

      1stackmack – I was out on Rte 3 south today..and suddenly I’ve got chunks of ice smacking my windshield…from guess who??? an idiot from NH driving a piick up with a cover over the bed! not an 18 wheeler. :-)

  34. CEO says:

    As comedian Ron White says: “You can’t fix stupid.” I often wonder just how minimal the brain activity is inside the head of people who only clear a small area of the windshield and then just go. They might as well be driving with their eyes closed. They can’t see you….therefore you aren’t really there….at least inside their little pea brains. It’s YOUR JOB to look out for them and get out of their way. And almost always they’re driving some little foreign car that has a bumper sticker telling you to buy from local farmers…..but apparently not local car companies. Gotta love the logic or lack thereof. But, that explains the snow covered car.

  35. emom says:

    clear the windows , all of them, clear the head lights both of them clear the tails lights both of them clear the side windows ALL OF THEM, and for heaven sake , please get rid of those blue hallogen lights, they blind us ,,,,if you cant see at night dont drive,,, fools

  36. Mike says:

    Clean off the windows yes… But clean off every flake? You flakes need to get a life.

  37. Chris says:

    Does anybody know that statute?

    “New Hampshire does have a law against leaving snow on your car. A first offense will cost you between $250 and $500. A second offense could cost you up to $1,000.”

    I can not find it in the statute search.

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