Ice Missiles – New Law and Your Responsibility

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This new law on ice missiles is a welcome new rule to promote safety on the roadways. Just recently, I was driving down I-84 and a vehicle in front of me going 65 mph +, who failed to clean the snow off the top of the roof, sent a snow and ice missile at my vehicle at a high rate of speed.


It almost cracked my windshield, and if hit the driver’s side of my car and if it came through into my car, could have killed me or caused a serious accident. It takes a few minutes of extra time to clean off the vehicle, but it is a courtesy to others, which each of us would like in return, so we are not the victim of an ice missile. Please take a few moments and follow this safety tips for the protection of others, and now, with this law change, to prevent yourself from receiving a ticket and fine.

Many motorists are unaware of the new CT law that will require drivers and truckers to remove the ice and snow from the roofs of their vehicles in order to avoid ” ice missiles” that can come flying off of their roofs.

The “ice missiles” law was passed by the legislature in May 2010, but the heavily lobbied bill did not become effective until now.  The new law states that the driver of any motor vehicle shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from the hood trunk and roof, so it does not pose a threat to persons or property. The fine for the average driver will be $75.00.

But the fines can range from $500 to $1250 for those driving large trucks and other commercial vehicles if ice or snow flies off and injures a person or property.  Those driving passenger cars and similar accidents would pay fines of $200 to $1000.

The phrase “ice missiles” was coined by then- governor M.  Jody Rell, who signed the bill into law.

Michael Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said the long lag time between the bill’s passage and it’s effective date was necessary because truckers needed time to come up with creative ways to remove the ice from tops of large tractor trailers.

Since then, a manufacturer has created an item similar to a roof rate that has become popular in the northeast after huge snow storms.

The device for trucks is essentially a roof rate that is curved enough so that it can reach into the center of the trucks roof – rather than the conventional roof a rate that does not bend.  Riley has sold more than 80 of the rakes, which cost about $150.

This is an excerpt from  a story was originally published by The Hartford Courant –,0,5435908.story