Is it illegal to drive without cleaning off all the snow from your vehicle in New York state?

We've all seen it. That car on the road piled high with snow. There's just a little hole in the front windshield to see out of. Sometimes there may even be a second small hole in the back window too.

Credit - Pam Adsit
Credit - Pam Adsit

Dangerous to Other Motorists

But all that snow has to go somewhere - straight into the windshield of the car behind. And God forbid there's a layer of ice under all the snow.

Police remind drivers every winter about the dangers of not clearing snow and ice off vehicles before hitting the road.


It may be dangerous, but it's not illegal. At least not in New York. Oh, there is a bill in the Senate that would fine drivers who refuse to clean off all the snow. But it was introduced years ago and still hasn't gone anywhere. It's stalled in the Transportation Committee.

If it does ever pass, the fines for not cleaning all the snow off your vehicle could be anywhere from $150 to $850.

With all the other stupid laws across New York, it's surprising this isn't one of them. Especially if it brings in fines/money to the state. It's probably not on the books because it makes sense. And since when did our politicians in Albany make any sense?

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