Motorist Fined after Failure to Clear Truck Results in Injuries to another Driver

The third generation Isuzu Elf

The third generation Isuzu Elf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although New Jersey didn’t see much snow and ice this winter, residents should not forget their responsibility to clean off their vehicles when the harsh weather returns. Just last week, a municipal court judge ruled against a driver who forgot to do just that. If, after reading the following, you need a Hunterdon County lawyer to assist you with a motor vehicle violation, contact the personal injury lawyers at Ragland Law Firm in Lebanon, N.J.

The case stems from a January 2011 incident in which Cheryl Desiderio-Huberdeau was injured when ice from the roof of a passing box truck flew off shattering her Jeep Wrangler windshield. (1) Desiderio-Huberdeau suffered cuts to her face and had glass removed from her eyes as a result of the incident. (2) On March 22, 2012, Sparta Municipal Court Judge John Mulhern found the truck’s driver, Kristopher Heine, guilty of not removing snow and ice from his vehicle, as required by state law, and imposed a fine of $750. (1)

An amended state law took effect on Oct. 20, 2010, requiring drivers of all vehicles, personal and commercial, to make a “reasonable” effort to remove all snow and ice from their vehicles before getting on the road. Fines for not complying with the new law range from $25 to $75, increasing to between $200 and $1,000 for private motorists and $500 to $1,500 for commercial drivers if injuries or property damage result. (3)

Prior to the amendment, motorists were ticketed only if snow or ice from their vehicle caused property damage or injury to another. The amended law now allows police to stop motorist simply for not clearing their cars or trucks. (2)

Since the amended law went into effect, 3,645 motorists in the state have received tickets for not removing snow and ice from their vehicles. (1)

Snow and ice are not the only hazards facing drivers on New Jersey roadways. Motorists carting materials in open truck beds or on the roofs of their cars are required to ensure that the materials are fastened securely and could face fines for not doing so. (4)

If you or someone you know needs the assistance of an attorney for a motor vehicle violation, particularly in Hunterdon County, contact the personal injury lawyers at Ragland Law Firm located in Lebanon, N.J., which is in close proximity to Clinton and Flemington.

(1) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/judge_rules_in_favor_of_woman.html
(2) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/snow_on_your_car_you_may_get_a.html
(3) http://www.njmta.org/articles.dws?section=1&id=1227

(4) http://www.pulltarps.com/State_and_Federal_Truck_Tarping_Laws.htm

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