This week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that increases law enforcement power over vehicle snow and ice removal.
On July 11, Wolf signed “Christine’s Law,” a bill that was introduced by Senator Lisa Boscola requiring drivers to remove ice or snow from their vehicles within 24 hours following heavy winter storms.
The law goes into effect in 60 days, meaning that it will be in place and enforceable by the time winter weather arrives in Pennsylvania.
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.
Previously, Pennsylvania law only allowed for the penalization of a driver if snow or ice falling from their vehicle resulted in serious bodily harm.
“Christine’s Law would be more proactive, giving police officers discretion to pull over a vehicle where the buildup of ice or snow poses a potential hazard,” Boscola said.
“I have been fighting on behalf of the Lamberts to get Christine’s Law on the books ever since that tragic accident over a decade and a half ago,” Boscola said. “It’s been a long road to get this bill become law, but it was a fight I had to win for Christine’s husband Frank and son Matthew.”
Snow and ice removal has been a controversial topic in the trucking community for years. Most drivers will admit that failure to remove snow and ice could pose a safety risk, but they also point out that it is unsafe and sometimes not possible to get on top of the trailer to remove it. Some companies and locations offer “snow blades” to help safely remove snow from the top of the trailer, but these aren’t always available for many truck drivers.