The Pennsylvania State Senate is considering legislation that would require truckers to remove snow and ice from their rigs prior to operation.
The bill would allow police to issue fines of $25 to $75 for snow and ice accumulation on a truck or trailer that the officer believes to be dangerous to others. Lawmakers say that the fine is intentionally low and is designed to raise awareness about the issue rather than to act as a deterrent.
The Senate heard from resident Frank Lambert, who lost his wife of 40 years when a thick slab of ice fell off of an 18 wheeler and shattered their vehicle’s windshield. Lambert’s grisly testimony spoke to the worst that can happen when ice and snow are not cleared off: “I didn’t have a wife with a complete head. The whole left side of her head was completely removed. The only thing that was left was her eye on the right-hand side and her ear.”
Opponents of the bill point out that it is vague and hard to enforce. The wording of the proposed legislation says that a trucker must “make all reasonable efforts” to remove ice and snow. Additionally, there is no safe way to completely remove all snow and ice from the top of a truck, according to the bill’s detractors.
Some Pennsylvania trucking companies have already invested in snow scraper machines like the one in the video below, but at $20,000, the machine could be too costly for many companies. Additionally, the snow scraper can only remove snow accumulations, not ice.