The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously approved a bill tightening the requirements for ice and snow removal from vehicles.
On July 6, the Pennsylvania Senate approved Senate Bill 114, also known as “Christine’s Law,” by a vote of 49 to 0. The language of SB 114 has been incorporated into the comprehensive transportation bill SB 1094.
The bill was introduced by Senator Lisa Boscola and would require that drivers to remove ice or snow from their vehicles within 24 hours following heavy winter storms.
Boscola says that she has been trying to pass Christine’s Law for more than 17 years.
The bill is named for Christine Lambert, who died on Christmas Day in 2005 after a large piece of ice dislodged from a passing box truck and crashed through her windshield.
Current Pennsylvania law only allows for the penalization of a driver if snow or ice falling from their vehicle results in serious bodily harm.
If Christine’s Law is signed into law, it will allow for more “proactive” enforcement, permitting police to use their own discretion about when to pull over a vehicle for a possible ice or snow hazard.
“My bill is first and foremost about public safety,” Boscola said. “The goal of Christine’s Law is to increase public awareness and make people more vigilant about clearing snow and ice from their vehicles so that the tragedy that befallen to the Lamberts don’t happen to other families.”
The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Tom Wolf to be signed into law. If it is signed, which Boscola says that she expects to happen soon, it would go into effect in 60 days, meaning it could be enforceable by this winter.