Remove snow, ice from vehicles

It’s called “Jessica’s Law” and it’s been on the books for more than a decade, but some drivers either aren’t aware of it or are, and just don’t care.

The law was named for Jessica Smith, a Peterborough resident who was 20 when she was killed in 1999 when a 9-foot chunk of ice flew from a tractor-trailer unit and triggered a chain-reaction accident.

As a result, the Legislature passed a law requiring people to clear ice and snow from all vehicle surfaces, including the roof.

This came to mind recently when a Hudson woman and her two children were, in the words of The Telegraph of Nashua, “showered with broken glass but otherwise escaped serious injury when a large sheet of ice and snow flew off a passing vehicle and smashed the windshield of their car.”

They were lucky. Jessica Smith wasn’t.

When he was Milford’s police chief, Fred Douglas launched a campaign against snow- and ice-covered vehicles, directing his officers to pull them over and get the drivers to clean them off. Often, Douglas did that himself. His campaign infuriated some drivers, but we like to think that they were the uncaring minority and that most drivers had simply forgotten and appreciated the police “reminder.”

What happened in Hudson recently should remind us, the police and drivers in general that, as winter bears down upon us, snow and ice are going to be a problem and we have an obligation to ensure the saftey of others by taking a few minutes to clean off our vehicles. It isn’t hard, it doesn’t take long, and there’s no reason not to do it.

And, by the way, it’s the law.