Were You Aware of It?

I heard an interesting rumor recently about a law about snow on cars. So, I did a quick search of the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statues’ website and I found two interesting things.

First, there are 68 Minnesota Statutes that contain the word “snow.”

Second, Minnesota Statute, Chapter 169.42, Subdivision 1 reads as follows:

No person shall throw, deposit, [etc.] any snow, ice, … upon any such street or highway.

In other words, it is a misdemeanor to allow snow and ice fly from your car and ruin my ability to see the road. Or even distract me. Or whatever.

So, it’s not only smart and polite to clean all the snow and ice off all parts of your car, it’s the law! The more you know.

8 Comments so far

  1. Justin Heideman (justinph) on December 29th, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    Not only is it impolite, it is dangerous. Even with proper following distances, a volvo in front of you with snow blowing off the roof can be bad for visibility. Additionally, leaving snow and ice on your car to blow off onto the road wastes tax dollars by requiring more plowing.

    Brushing off you car isn’t that hard. I usually do it while it idles for a minute or two to warm up.

  2. elpac on December 29th, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

    it’s amazing, the people who don’t even make an attempt to clear off their windshields! how can they see if their back windshield is covered with snow?

  3. derushaj on December 29th, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    I wonder if the rumor came from the story I did earlier this month on snow driving laws.

  4. kevinfromminneapolis on December 30th, 2008 @ 6:40 am

    Seriously, what haven’t you done a story on? Wow.

    I’ve always brushed all the snow off my car, top, lights, windows, everything. Especially the hood, because on my Intrepeid it tends to blow up into the windshield if I don’t. Plus, snow is heavy and getting the weight off reduces the amount of power my engine needs to make, thus helping gas mileage.

  5. Donavon (brash) on December 30th, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

    While it may not seem like 68 snow-related statutes is very much for such an wintered state as Minnesota, you would be interested to learn that Minnesota Statute, Chapter 3.10, Subdivision 1 reads as follows:

    The Revisor’s Office, in preparing public distribution of statutes, may not alter the sense, meaning, or effect of any legislative act, and must print each statute in tightly packed snow upon the Capital Mall, and shall be displayed for all to see for a period of no less than 6 months. Any person found guilty of melting any legislative snow or knowingly altering or destroying published law shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor; and, upon conviction, liable to a fine of not more than $1,000, or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or to both fine and imprisonment.

    In effect, all state statutes contain snow. Back in 1932 when the so-called "Snow Statute" was first passed, legislators believed that, by issuing state law upon snow, they would be facilitating a sense of state pride, as the state bird at the time was, oddly, snow. This however was a wildly unpopular move, as snow was a rare commodity during the Great Depression, and the state legislature was seen as foolish and wasteful. The practice is mostly tradition today, though is still dutifully honored, as the ceremony involved allows out governor and legislators dress up in top hats and long coats.


  6. kevinfromminneapolis on December 30th, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

    ’tis true. Sometimes the revisor’s get a little crazy and try to write the laws in pee.

  7. David (jacc) on December 30th, 2008 @ 7:59 pm
  8. Stray Hawkeye » Speaking of odd laws (pingback) on January 13th, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

    […] Metblogs and WCCO have mentioned, there are several laws that apply to driving in the winter in Minnesota, […]

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