The department plans to increase enforcement of snow removal from vehicles, according to Sgt. John-Paul Beebe.
"Due to the recent string of severe snow and ice storms and additional forecasted major weather events, the Sparta Police are advising motorists to take the extra time to remove all ice and snow from your vehicle before driving, especially from the hood, windows and roof," Beebe said.
Motorists face $25 to $75 for each offense even if ice or snow does not dislodge from their vehicle, Beebe said. Fines significantly increase if ice or snow become airborne from a vehicle and cause property damage or injure others with penalties ranging from $200 to $1,000 for each offense.
The Office of the Attorney General, Division of Highway Traffic Safety, offers the following winter driving tips:
- Drives slow (at or below the posted speed limit) and adjust your speed for the changing of road conditions.
- Turn on your headlights, using low beams when traveling in snow.
- Increase your following distance. In winter weather travel at least eight to 10 seconds behind the car in front of you.
- Give snowplows plenty of room to work. Don’t tailgate and try to pass. If you must pass, exercise extreme caution in doing so. Remember, a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see him but he may not see you.
- If you skid, don’t brake or accelerate. Remove your foot from the gas, and gently steer your car in the direction of the skid (the direction the rear of your vehicle is sliding). When your car starts heading in the desired direction, carefully straighten the wheel.
- Slow down before exiting the highway. Exit ramps often have icy patches, sharp curves and stalled or stopped vehicles.
- Have a personal safety kit easily accessible in your vehicle that included; and ice scrapper/brush, shovel, jumper cables or battery starter, blanket, sand, salt or kitty litter fro traction, lock de-icer, flashlight and new batteries, extra windshield wiper fluid, safety flares/warning device and make sure your cell phone is full charged.