Remember to Clear Ice and Snow Before Driving

New Law Provides for Safer Passage on NJ Roads

The Montclair State University Police Department reminds motorists to always remove accumulated ice and snow from their vehicles before traveling on New Jersey’s roadways.  With this difficult winter season upon us it is imperative that community members travel state and local roads as well as campus roads is the safest possible manner.  Our goal is to give ample warning to those who attempt to adhere to this new law.  


Motorists who fail to clear their vehicles of ice and snow before driving can be cited and fined under an amended law, which became effective October 20, 2010.  Prior to this change, a motorist could only receive a citation if failure to remove ice and snow from a vehicle resulted in injury to others or property damage.


Fines for violating the new law range from $25 to $75.  No motor vehicle points will be assessed for this offense.  If failure to remove ice and snow results in injury or property damage, motorists face fines ranging from $200 to $1000, while commercial motor vehicle drivers face fines ranging from $500 to $1,500, for each offense.


In anticipation of inclement weather, motorists are encouraged to:


·                                             Tune up and winterize their vehicles, as well as check the radiator, battery, antifreeze, and all other fluid levels.

·                                             Check tire treads and replace them if they’re unsafe.

·                                             Check and replace windshield wiper blades if the rubber is cracked and/or brittle.  Be sure to also check and refill the washer fluid reservoir.

·                                             Maintain at least a half a tank of gas during the winter to prevent the fuel line from freezing.


Motorists should also keep a winter driving “safety kit” in their vehicles that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency. The kit should include: an ice scraper/brush; shovel; jumper cables or battery starter; warm blanket; sand, salt or cat litter (for traction in ice and snow); de-icer; safety flares/warning devices; flashlight and new batteries; extra windshield washer fluid; cell phone with a charged spare battery; water and non-perishable food (i.e. granola or protein bars); and, paper towels or a cloth.


For further information on winter driving, as well as a variety of traffic safety issues, motorists can visit the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s web site, at or contact the University Police Department at 973-655-5222 or