‘Ice missiles’: Connecticut protects its drivers

Connecticut is taking its new “ice missile” law seriously, issuing at least 230 tickets since Jan. 1 to drivers who failed to remove snow and ice from their vehicles, according to the Connecticut Post. Fines range from $75 for basic violations to several hundred dollars for airborne chunks that cause damage or injury.

The law is a testament to personal politics and to perseverance. It was proposed more than a decade ago by Larry Cafero, a Republican state representative from Norwalk, whose wife once came home with a smashed windshield after a flying saucer of ice slid off a truck ahead of her vehicle. Calling the missiles “a slow-motion nightmare,” Cafero gained the support of former Governor Jodi Rell, who said the issue was “more than a pet peeve for many Connecticut residents.” The trucking industry vigorously resisted the measure until 2010 and delayed full implementation until now, claiming it was too dangerous for operators to get up on the slippery and structurally weak tops of tractor-trailers to shovel them off. But that’s a poor excuse for endangering others on the road. Meanwhile, the trucking industry has been developing special brushes and rakes to remove snow from rigs.

Massachusetts has no such law yet, but it needs one. All drivers — whether they’re in tractor-trailers or Minis — must take responsibility for cleaning off their own vehicles. No one plying the Mass. Pike or Route 2 after a storm should have to endure a meteor shower of ice from other motorists.