Lazy people leaving snow atop their it illegal?

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Lazy people leaving snow atop their it illegal?

by: CliffClaven on
Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:54 pm

It's one heckuva snow day here in Ottawa, today. Lots of heavy wet snow, poor visibility and slippery roads. Yeesh!

But what I don't understand is how many people fail to brush the snow off their cars before heading out on the roads.

I see people driving around with their windows completely covered...or big piles of snow on their rooftops, hoods and trunks flying off in the "faces" of all the other vehicles around. Some lazy buggers do nothing more than run the windshield wipers and then drive around with two pie-shaped clean spots to see out of. Obviously those drivers can't see out properly, and it's far from courteous and/or safe for others around them.

It's maddening, for sure, but is it illegal? What's the specific section of the HTA that applies? And do the cops ever bother to enforce it?


I'm talking about something like this:

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by: Stanton on
Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:35 pm

Yes, it is illegal. It falls under section 74 of the HTA.
Windows to afford clear view
74. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway,
(a) unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle; and
(b) unless the rear window is in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the rear of the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 74 (1).
Application of cl. (1) (b)
(2) Clause (1) (b) does not apply to a motor vehicle that is equipped with a mirror or mirrors securely attached to the motor vehicle and placed in such a position and maintained in such a condition as to afford the driver, otherwise than through the rear window, a clearly-reflected view of the roadway in the rear or of any vehicle approaching from the rear. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 74 (2).
So the windshield and windows to either side of the driver must be clear of ice/snow. I would argue that simply running the wipers to clear part of the windshield would not be considered a "clear view". It wouldn't have to be spotless, but the driver should have a relatively clear view. The back window should also be clear, but the last subsection grants an exception if you have side mirrors which can afford a clear view (which I'd say 99% of motor vehicles do).

In terms of enforcement, I'd say police certainly do stop the egregious offenders, but you mainly see them on snow days, when police are busy with accidents and don't have a lot of free enforcement time.
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