Clear your car windows of snow, ice

As I was traveling to work after the last big snow storm, I witnessed a vehicle whose driver must have been in a rush, was being lazy, or just did not care that morning.

Their vehicle’s windows and, specifically, the windshield, were not clear of frost and snow. The driver was lucky if they could even see where they were driving. The worst part is, that was not the first time I have witnessed this.

I understand that, when it is cold outside, you do not want to take the extra time to start your car and wait for the windows to defrost.

But, according to Michigan law, you are required to.

Michigan Vehicle Code, MCL 257.709, discusses the requirements for windshields and windows.

Under section 1(C) it states, “A person shall not operate a motor vehicle with any of the following: An object that obstructs the vision of the driver of the vehicle, except as authorized by law.”

It doesn’t take much to clean the windows of a car before you get in to drive, just time and effort.

What would happen if a driver did not clean their car off and then caused a collision with your family member?

Law enforcement can cite a driver with a civil infraction if they fail to clear their vehicle of snow an ice.

I contacted a local court and asked what the penalty for that offense would be.

The driver, if cited, would face a fine of approximately $100 to $150 and receive two points on their license. To me, the best route is to simply clear all the windows of ice and snow before leaving the driveway to avoid a ticket or possibly an accident.

Ashley Simpson is a Community Service Trooper for the MSP Alpena Post. If you have a question for Trooper Simpson, you can email her at or mail them to Ask A Trooper, Michigan State Police-Alpena Post, 3283 W. Washington Ave., Alpena, Mich., 49707.