BREMERTON, Wash. – Snowfall might be rare in western Washington, but after a few inches of snow fell around the Puget Sound region last week, common sense also seemed in short supply.
A witness noticed a person driving erratically along Highway 16 in Kitsap County, west of Seattle, Sunday and called the Washington State Patrol, according to Trooper Katherine Weatherwax. The driver made it another 5 miles down the highway until they could be pulled over, where the trooper discovered the windshield was almost completely covered with snow.
The driver was cited for second-degree negligent driving and given a $553 fine, Weatherwax said. The driver told the trooper their windshield wipers were not working.
Snow is rare in the lowlands of western Washington. Still, several states, including Washington and New York, have various laws requiring windshields to be free from any obstructions before operating, including snow.
Even if you manage to take the time to clear your windshield, leaving accumulated snow atop your vehicle is against the law in many states. For example, Michigan drivers can be fined up to $100 for driving with snow left on vehicles.
"Please take the time to remove all snow from your vehicle before you leave the house," Weatherwax warned.