After a motorist was severely injured by a chunk of ice that fell off of a semi truck in Pennsylvania this week, both law enforcement and members of the trucking community are taking a closer look at the problem of ice removal for commercial vehicle drivers.
The incident happened on Tuesday, January 22, in Smithfield Township, Pennsylvania, according to a report from Fox 56.
Officials say that a car was travelling on I-80 near Exit 309 when a chunk of ice flew off of a semi truck headed in the opposite direction. The ice shattered the car’s windshield and left a male passenger in the car so severely injured that he was later airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The driver of the car was unhurt.
State police say that they have not identified the truck that the ice came from and that they are treating the incident as a hit and run.
The Marshalls Creek Fire Company asks drivers to “PLEASE remember to clean your vehicle off completely before driving.”
PennDOT also warns that a newly enacted law states that if snow or ice falls from your vehicle and injures or kills another person, you may face a fine of $200 to $1000 for each offense.
Since the Marshalls Creek Fire Company shared a post about the ice missile incident on Facebook, some members of the trucking community have come forward to point out that for commercial vehicle drivers, ice removal is a major and persistent problem with no easy solution.
Facebook user Cryssy Henry pointed out:
So for all of you non truck drivers here is a little information for you. Trucks don’t have the space to carry a ladder and broom high enough to clean off their trailers. And if they get caught by OSHA on top of their trucks they lose their careers. 4 wheelers are supposed to stay double if not triple the normal safety distance in bad weather or after bad weather. Trucks are also restricted to the right lane unless passing. So instead of following a truck for miles just pass them.
William Bloom said that snow blades aren’t always an option for truckers on a deadline:
It’s not as easy as many people think, to clean ice of the top of a 13 and a half foot high trailer. First of, OSHA will no doubt fine you. Yes, there are “snow blades”. A lot of companies have specified personal who are qualified to operate these, but they have other jobs that are priority.. Were on a timetable quite often. If the load is late, because we had to wait for someone to move snow off the trailer, someone usually gets a hefty fine. Guess who absorbs that ? I got an idea. Stay off the roads during storms and let us do our job ! I didnt think so!!!!