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Paying a fine for snow-covered cars: Why one Virginia lawmaker wants to make it a reality

Many states across the country already have laws and regulations in place addressing accumulated snow on cars.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — For several months of the year, Michael Mullin frequents the drive from Williamsburg to Richmond for his duties in the Virginia House of Delegates.

And sometimes in the winter months, he notices a common trend among drivers. 

"I notice so many people who could be cleaning off their cars and choose not to," Del. Mullin told 13News Now. "Once at 9:30 at night, I saw an individual on I-64 driving 80 miles an hour with a hole on the front of their car through the snow. That's not a safe way to operate a car.”

Del. Mullin, representing House of Delegates District 93 covering several Hampton Roads municipalities, introduced HB1183, a bill to introduce fines for drivers if pulled over by law enforcement while driving with snow or ice still on the vehicle.

It would be considered a traffic infraction punishable by a $100 fine.

"Nobody is trying to put someone in bankruptcy or charge someone with a criminal offense. This is just about encouraging people to be good stewards of the road," Del. Mullin said. 

Emergency vehicles would be exempt from this bill. This is not the first time Del. Mullin has sought to get the bill passed. 

He said the main opposition has come from commercial drivers, even though the bill's intent is geared more toward pedestrian drivers.

“Opposition has mostly been commercial truck drivers, that it would be expensive to put brooms on top of highway stations to accommodate large trucks," Del. Mullin said.

After a recent subcommittee hearing, the bill will be voted on by the Transportation Committee.

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