I’m sure I won’t be the only person who has ever seen a car like the one pictured to the left traveling down the road. It’s also likely I’m not alone in having seen such a car dump it’s load while underway. Certainly those of us who drive have, at some point, experienced such a car dumping part of it’s load on your windshield, pelting it with flying snow… now stop and think about what would happen to a cyclist or a pedestrian. Ouch!
It turns out that part (b) of § 31-23-16 of RI Title 31 (the section of law that covers motor vehicles) says:
(b) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any significant amounts of snow or ice upon the vehicle. The term “significant” is construed as any amount of accumulation which might reasonably be expected, when blowing off the vehicle while driving, to obscure the vision of an operator of another vehicle. However, the natural accumulation of snow while driving during adverse weather conditions shall not constitute a violation of this section. Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.
So for anyone who is feeling just a bit lazy on those snowy mornings, think about the possibility of snow flying off and hitting a cyclists… or if you need to, know there is a law on the books requiring you to clean off your car.