Harrisburg, April 25, 2018 — The state Senate today unanimously approved Sen. Lisa Boscola’s legislation that would require truck drivers to remove ice or snow from their vehicles following heavy snow or ice storms.
Named “Christine’s Law,” the measure would help prevent tragedies like the one that befell Christine Lambert of Palmer Township in 2005. She died when a large piece of ice dislodged from a passing truck and crashed through her windshield.
“I have been fighting to get this law on the books ever since that tragic accident,” Boscola said. “Hopefully, the strong bipartisan support will encourage the House of Representatives to act soon on the bill.”
“This legislation (Senate Bill 435) is about safety and responsibility,” Boscola said. “Safety for motorists and truckers alike, and responsibility for freight and shipping companies to be a good corporate neighbor and to install appropriate snow removal equipment.”
She said her proposal would strengthen the existing law by deterring drivers from leaving ice on their trucks — preventing tragedies before they happen.
The current law only penalizes a driver when serious bodily harm occurs from a snow or ice projectile. Christine’s Law would be more proactive, giving police officers discretion to pull over a truck where the buildup of ice or snow poses a potential hazard.
Under the Boscola bill, motor carrier operators would have up to 24 hours following a snowstorm to clear the snow and ice from trucks. This is a similar timeframe that most homeowners are provided to clear their sidewalks after a winter storm.
“Too many truckers let highway winds do their snow removal for them,” Boscola said. “But snow sometimes freezes, hardens and turn into chunks of ice that can dislodge from a moving vehicle.”
The Northampton lawmaker said her legislation is more about raising public awareness and spurring voluntary compliance than taking punitive action against truckers.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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