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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate passes bill requiring removal of snow and ice from motor vehicles

March 20, 2019

Delaware State Senate Majority Caucus
Contact: Scott Goss (302) 744-4180, or
Dylan McDowell (302) 744-4282

DOVER – Legislation aimed at addressing a dangerous hazard on Delaware roadways passed the state Senate on Thursday by a vote of 20 to 0.

Senate Bill 58 would require people to clear their vehicles of snow and ice before hitting the road.  The measure also would allow police to stop drivers who refuse to do so.

Currently, Delaware is one of only a few states that does not require people to clear their vehicles of icy debris.

“This is just common sense road safety,” said prime sponsor Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Brandywine Hundred. “We’ve all been driving along when snow from a car in front of us has come flying off and hit our windshield. It’s needlessly dangerous and it’s my hope a healthy mix of education and enforcement can reduce the property damage and injuries.”

Senate Bill 58 would allow police officers to stop snow covered vehicles and issue tickets when warranted with penalties ranging from $25 to $75.

If snow or ice has dislodged from a moving vehicle and caused property damage or personal injury, a private driver could face a minimum fine of $200, while a commercial driver could be hit with a $500 fine. That fine structure follows the same model currently in place in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Unanimously moved out of the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday, the measure is backed by AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware State Troopers Association.

Senate Bill 58 now heads to the state House for a final vote.