Hurtling ice from vehicle’s roof blamed for crash
Cleaning your vehicle of snow and ice in winter months may be a pain, but failing to do so can lead to serious trouble for yourself and other motorists on Timmins roadways.
That was the case on Tuesday morning when the driver of a logging truck ended up in the ditch after ice from another vehicle unexpectedly came flying into his windshield.
The incident occurred at 7:39 a.m. on highway 101, east of the nighthawk Bridge.
The south Porcupine Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who were called to the scene to investigate, confirmed that falling ice from the roof of an oncoming vehicle caused the windshield of an incoming truck to shatter. The driver of that vehicle then lost control and ended up in the ditch.
he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries as a result.
The incident is a lesson in the importance of taking those extra few minutes to ensure all snow and ice are cleared from your vehicle before leaving the driveway.
“The OPP make monitoring people driving with unsafe vehicle conditions part of their daily duties,” said Michelle simard, community safety officer and media relations with the south Porcupine OPP.
“The public needs to take the extra five minutes to ensure their vehicles are completely clear of ice and snow to ensure the safety of everyone. ice coming from a vehicle can cause serious collisions with serious consequences.”
The Timmins Police service (TPS) takes a similar stance on the issue and urges motorists to fully clear their vehicles to avoid any avoidable collisions from occurring on city streets.
“We’re always on the lookout for when people are driving with only tiny sections of their windshield clear and making their way down the roadway – this is a safety hazard – and if your view is obstructed, there is potential for charges to be laid,” said Marc depatie, communications coordinator for the TPS. The fines aren’t cheap, either. in accordance with the highway Traffic act, those driving with an obstructed view out of their front and/or rear windshield, their side view mirrors, or without a clear view to the rear of their vehicle can be charged a fine of $110.
Currently, however, there is no charge directly related to having a buildup of snow or ice on the top of a vehicle – even if it later becomes dislodged and hits the windshield of an oncoming car.
“There is no charge for driving with snow on top of your vehicle, but common courtesy we would hope would dictate that people would take the necessary time and effort to clear that from their vehicle,” said depatie. “in what we colloquially refer to as ‘mobile snowstorms,’ where either through negligence or being in a hurry, motorists have left their driveway or some location with a pile of snow on their roof thinking that physics will eliminate the snow as they drive along. The sad fact is, they are creating a traffic hazard for all motorists.”
Police in other jurisdictions have taken it upon themselves to crack down on drivers with a buildup of snow and ice on the roofs of their vehicles, with one officer in Winnipeg even issuing a ticket for driving with “unsecured load” of snow.
That section of the highway Traffic act in Ontario itself does not mention snow specifically, however, and both the TPS and OPP say there is no specific law in place to enforce the removal of snow on top of a vehicle.
“i don’t want to cast the officers in a dim light, but that’s perhaps an ‘inventive’ interpretation of that section and the presiding justice of the peace may choose to view it that way,” said depatie. “From a police perspective, the snow is not technically meeting the definition of ‘load’ in the Traffic act.”
simard said simply, “there is no charge for that,” but also noted that when she is personally on patrol, she does make a point to insist that drivers clear off their vehicles.
With that said, they both strongly urge motorists to consider this incident a tale of caution and to keep in mind that driving with an obstructed view can cause a danger not only to the driver – but to others on the road, as well.
“This is a joint venture between law enforcement and the motoring public,” depatie concluded. “it is the winter season and with that comes snowfalls and frosted windows, so we would encourage all commuters who are travelling throughout the area to take the requisite amount of time to have their windows thoroughly cleared of snow and frost.”
A driver of a commercial vehicle was driven into the ditch on Tuesday after ice from another vehicle came hurtling into his windshield. In this photo provided to The Daily Press by the driver, the windshield is seen to be shattered and cracked, which caused the driver to lose visibility and suffer minor injuries as a result of the collision in Timmins.