MICHIGAN, USA — Driving during the winter is tough, whether from icy roads or steady snowfall, and the Walker Police Department is reminding drivers to not make it even harder with leaving snow on your car. The reason why: it's illegal.
"If an officer does see you driving with a vision obstruction like that with snow all over the windows, you can be pulled over. You can be cited for that," says Mitch Harkema, a Community Outreach Officer.
A lot of the officers use the traffic stop as an educational opportunity, to tell the drivers
Harkema saw something just like that on Alpine and 3 Mile when coming into work, having to take a different educational route as he wasn't officially on duty yet.
The light was red when he noticed a car in front of him was completely covered in snow and had no lights on, which is a violation of section 699 of Michigan's Vehicle Code legislation.
And right as the traffic light turned green, he took a photo.
"With the winter weather that we've had coming into the area this week, we've done a lot of social media posting on proper winter driving habits, winter driver's safety, things like that," Harkema says.
The Walker Police Department wants people to know that with limited visibility that the snowfall creates, you should want to make it as visible as possible out there on the road.
"The first step of that is turning your lights on. And then secondly with that, is to just get some common sense with safety."
And the police aren't the only ones calling drivers out either.
Under their social media posts, there are complaints of people seeing other drivers with their windshields only cleared off enough for someone to see the side and back windows. That is a violation of section 709 in Michigan's Vehicle Code legislation.
"The defrost settings on vehicles just isn't fast enough to give you a true safe line of sight when you're driving," Harkema says.
Harkema adds that while yes, it may suck to have to maybe set your alarm to go off a little earlier during the winter to add some safety measures to your morning routine, it's important to not only keep yourself safe out on the road, but others as well.
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