What is Christine’s Law? PA’s New Winter Driving Law

January 20th, 2023

woman clearing snow off a car

This winter marks the first season “Christine’s Law” is in effect in Pennsylvania. This new law requires drivers to remove snow and ice from their vehicles within 24 hours following a heavy winter storm. Failure to do so can result in a fine starting at $50 and increasing to $1,500 if pieces of snow or ice fall off your car and hit a passing vehicle. Fatal car accidents have occurred in the past due to this neglect, and the state passed Christine’s Law in an attempt to prevent these accidents from happening.

When and why did Christine’s law come into effect?

In 2005, a woman named Christine Lambert lost her life on Christmas day after a large piece of ice broke off the roof of a passing vehicle and crashed through her windshield. This tragic accident encouraged Senator Lisa Boscola to propose this legislation, which Governor Tom Wolf signed into law in July 2022. Christine’s Law officially went into effect 60 days after Governor Wolf signed it, just in time for the winter season.

How is Christine’s law different from previous snow and ice removal laws?

Previous snow and ice removal laws in Pennsylvania only allowed officials to penalize drivers after snow or ice build-up on their car fell off and injured another driver. Now, Christine’s Law will enable officials to pull over and fine drivers for their snow or ice build-up before it leads to a severe or fatal accident. The overall goal of this law is to encourage the public to be more vigilant about cleaning their vehicles after a snowstorm and to prevent an accident like Christine’s from happening again.

Why is it essential to clear your car or truck off before driving?

While clearing any snow or ice build-up from your car or truck can be exhausting, it is essential for two reasons. The first is it increases your road visibility. Build-up on your mirrors or windows obstructs your view of the road and other vehicles around you, thus increasing your likelihood of getting in a car accident. The second reason is you will not receive a fine under Christine’s Law, and you are also keeping drivers traveling behind and around you safe.

Clearing off build-up can be dangerous and sometimes impossible if you’re driving a truck in the winter. Always check if your company provides “snow blades” or if a local store sells them for safer snow removal from your roof. If not, don’t hesitate to ask for help and another person’s supervision as you attempt to clean up the roof of your truck.

Be cautious of other dangerous road conditions during winter.

Snow and ice falling off other vehicles isn’t the only hazard you must be cautious of during winter. Black ice, low tire pressure, and busy snowplow drivers are just a few dangers that can lead to car accidents. Follow these safe winter driving tips to take appropriate precautions and avoid accidents.

Unfortunately, accidents can still happen no matter how many precautions you take. As car accident lawyers, we understand the harsh winter weather can worsen driving conditions and make travel dangerous. That’s why taking extra precautions, such as removing snow and ice from your vehicle, is crucial to ensure the safety of you and others on the road.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident due to falling ice or snow, contact the car accident lawyers at Flager & Associates today by calling (215) 953-5200. We provide free case evaluations.

Adam Flager, Esq., Associate at Flager & AssociatesWritten by Adam D. Flager, Esq., Associate at Flager & Associates, PC

With his practice focused on litigation, Adam primarily represents clients in personal injury cases, such as motor vehicle, slip and fall, defective products, and construction and worksite accidents. He is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit. Adam received his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2009, where he graduated with pro-Bono Distinction.

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