Plinky asks: “If you could enact one new law, what would it be?”

In the spirit of the season, I’m going to say I would make it illegal to drive around with snow left on top of your car. I’ve seen far, far too many lazy people tearing down the road with snow and ice flying off their car roofs, and even though I don’t drive, it still pisses me off.

I get especially disheartened at the state of humanity when I see tiny cars with the snow still piled on top. Really, people? Can’t be arsed to pull out that snow brush and do a little stretching? It’s not that hard, is it?

I feel like SUV and truck drivers think they have an excuse, since the roofs of their cars are tall enough to make snow clearing impossible to a normal-sized human. To them, I point to the gentleman in the picture above. This man knows how it is. If you own a big car, you should also own a big brush. Or a broom. Your propensity for large vehicles does not excuse you of the responsibility!

I suppose I get so riled up about this because it’s a safety issue, and lazy people are putting the lives of fellow drivers in danger. When I experienced my first snowfall as a licensed driver, I couldn’t be arsed to reach across my car roof to get all the snow off. Then my mum explained about how ice can launch off cars and into the windshields of vehicles behind them, cracking the glass on one end of the damage spectrum, and causing a multi-car pile-up on the other. That’s all it took; my car was brushed meticulously clean each storm after that.

If a 16-year-old can understand the concept, I think it’s only fair to expect adults to get it too. Which is why I would enact a law imposing a strict fine on anyone driving with a dangerously snowy car. After some research, I found that New Hampshire already has this law; drivers get fined between $250 and $500 for the first offense, then up to $1,000 for the second. My fine would be the average cost of a windshield replacement plus the average ER and hospital costs – sans insurance – for car accident victims… some Googling of these costs brings my estimated fine amount to $4000 on the low end.

Would the threat of this fine be enough to motivate people to get off their butts and spend 5-10 minutes clearing their cars off for the good of society? My tiny faith in humanity says probably not, but then again, you know what they say about assuming things…

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