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RCMP in P.E.I. are getting more reports of vehicles damaged by snow and ice flying off other vehicles.
Const. Jamie Parsons didn’t have any numbers but said these types of cases tend to happen more in a winter where there has been a significant mix of snow, rain and freezing rain.
“It’s scary and it can cause damage,’’ Parsons said. “Occupants of the car (that is struck by ice) can be very endangered.’’
Read more: P.E.I. women hurt by flying ice say drivers should spend more time clearing off ice and snow
Social media has been buzzing during the past few weeks with pictures of damaged vehicles and smashed windshields as a result of flying ice.
Parsons said RCMP have issued advisories on more than one occasion this winter reminding people to clean off their vehicles before hitting the road.
“When you get that freezing rain after a fresh snowfall it forms a layer of ice on top (of a vehicle) and then what you’re seeing is these vehicles are warming up inside. As they warm up inside, you get that thin layer of water between the snow and the roof. That loosens everything up. Then, a little bit of wind gets under it and catches that ice and everything flies off on the road.’’
Parsons said officers on patrol are doing their best to keep an eye out for people who aren’t taking the time to clean off their vehicles properly.
Motorists can face a fine of $150, for example, if the driver’s view is obstructed by snow.
Police can also issue a fine for driving with an unsecure load.
“That may sound funny but you are driving your vehicle with something that is unsecure so you are responsible for it,’’ Parsons said.
And, drivers can be fined and earn demerit points if it is clear to a police officer the person didn’t put any effort into cleaning the vehicle off.
“We use common sense ... and discretion. If we get behind a car and you can tell the person got in the car, turned on the windshield wipers and drove away, yes (we’ll stop it). And, you do see that.’’
Parsons said he recently pulled a car over where the driver’s only view through the snow on the windshield was a small circle no bigger than the porthole on a small boat.
Parsons recommends purchasing a foam brush with an extended reach to make it easier to remove snow and ice from the tops of vehicles.