BOSTON (CBS) – We started ranting about this last December, when the winter’s first snowfall exposed the laziness and ignorance of too many drivers who can’t be bothered to remove the snow and ice from their vehicles. But while our patience with this kind of behavior wore out years ago, we do realize that some people are new to winter driving (and, of course, there are always people who have physical restrictions that prevent them from clearing their cars.)
But now it’s the middle of March, plenty of time for anyone’s learning curve to ramp up.
How bad has the situation with snow-removal scofflaws gotten?
So bad, the Massachusetts State Police felt compelled to make this video, patiently – and a little bit sarcastically – instructing the clueless on this basic safety precaution.
“Put your snow broom down and give it a pull,” says Trooper Dustin Fitch as he removes the fluffy snow from his car. “Like magic, gravity will just take this snow off of your vehicle and down to the ground.”
Are we back in third grade? But the evidence that this is necessary was all around us today.
State Police released a series of photos of dangerous drivers with partially- or, in a couple of appalling cases, fully -snow-covered windshields. And the WBZ SkyEye chopper shot footage of an SUV speeding down the Pike and losing it’s roof-load of snow all over the front hood and the highway.
“We have crashes across the state after every single storm,” from this type of negligence, reports Trooper Fitch. And every winter, we have the sad task of reporting on fatal accidents caused by it.
Massachusetts has no specific statute requiring snow and ice removal from a vehicle, but you can be slapped with a fine of up to $200 for carrying an unsecured load. Or, you could discharge your minimal civic duty by making sure the car is clear before you start it up.
It’s not so hard. As the trooper says in his video, all you need is the proper tool – a cheap snowbrush, or even a kitchen mop.
But there’s also something else needed, it seems – basic common sense and decency.