Ottawa police crack down on drivers who leave snow on cars
Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, January 9, 2015 8:15PM EST
It only takes a few minutes out in the cold, but many Canadian drivers hit the road without having brushed off the snow and ice caked on the exterior of their cars.
In Ottawa the crime carries a $110 fine, but despite the threat one local police officer is taking the matter into his own hands to prevent the behaviour.
Const. Phil Kane of the Ottawa Police Department says the snow and ice buildup that drivers neglect to brush off can pose a deadly hazard to fellow drivers.
"They aren't clearing off the headlights, turn signals and the roof is the big thing," he told CTV Ottawa.
"That ice is going to fly off and go through a windshield, or somebody is going to panic and do some defensive maneuver and it could cause a collision," he added.
After warning one driver on Wednesday morning, Kane ended up pulling over 63 cars in just 90 minutes.
"I pulled it over, and as I'm talking to that driver another car came by, then another and another," he said.
"In 90 minutes I pulled 63 cars over for not clearing the snow off."
Kane says the cold temperatures that left the ice and snow on cars in the first place are also deterring drivers from spending the few minutes required to brush off their vehicles.
"Some of the drivers obviously thought it was too cold to get out or too snowy," he said.
And if that was the case on Wednesday, Kane did the job for them.
"Some of the drivers I pulled over were in their pyjamas, obviously they were not ready to step out of their car, so I would do it," he said
"Some of them were a little embarrassed that a police officer was out there clearing snow off their car."
While Kane decided to just issue warnings to drivers, he warns that drivers should expect fines if they don’t learn their lesson.
"In the future … there are going to be charges -- it's common sense," he said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Natalie Pierosara