Law that requires drivers to clear snow passes Senate
A bill named for a woman who was tragically killed on Carbon County roads in 2005 is once again moving forward in Harrisburg.
Christine’s law would require drivers to remove snow and ice from their vehicles before they potentially pose a hazard to other drivers.
The legislation is named for Chrstine Lambert, who died on Christmas Day 2005 when a massive chunk of ice fell from a passing tractor trailer and crashed through the window of her car on Route 209 near Nesquehoning.
On Monday, the state Senate voted unanimously to pass Christine’s law. The law has been proposed several times before, but has never successfully passed both the house and senate.
State Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton), has proposed the bill during each senate session since Lambert’s death in 2005.
“Hopefully, this measure would encourage more people to clear snow and ice from their vehicles,” Boscola said.
The current state law only penalizes drivers when serious injury results from a snow or ice projectile. Christine’s Law would go a step further, giving police officers the ability to pull over a vehicle if they feel that it has a buildup of ice and snow that would pose a potential hazard.
The tractor trailer involved in Lambert’s death was never found. In 2016, her widower, Frank, and son, Matthew, appeared before a hearing in Harrisburg to urge state lawmakers to adopt Christine’s Law. Frank Lambert said the piece of ice which killed his wife was roughly 10 inches thick and 3-4 feet in diameter. He said it was probably formed by ice melting and refreezing on the top of the tractor-trailer, which was the type covered with a tarp, probably to carry trash.
Christine’s Bill unanimously passed the Senate during its 2017-18 session as well, but the House of Representatives did not take it up for a vote. Boscola said the house has ample time to consider the bill before the conclusion of the current session next November.
“I am encouraged by today’s overwhelming bipartisan vote,” Boscola said. “I hope my House colleagues will act soon on the bill.”