The senators are off-season by a month, but it still won’t hurt for them to pass a bill to hold motorists responsible for chunks of snow or sheets of ice that fly off their vehicles and cause injuries or property damage.

A House-passed bill awaiting action in the Senate would make motorists subject to a fine in the range from $200 to $1,000 if snow or ice “dislodged or falling” from their moving vehicle strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing injuries or damages.

Haven’t we all seen cars and trucks hurtling down the highway with chunks of ice flying off and creating a dangerous hazard for everyone following them?

Your first thought is that the driver must be awfully lazy or just in too much of a hurry to not even take time to clear off their vehicle. Neither excuse is justification for allowing a vehicle to become a highway projectile.  

The Senate should go ahead and pass this legislation so we have another law on the books to help make the highways safer. Just like we have a law requiring drivers to secure and cover loads of stone and other materials that can also serve as projectiles if they become dislodged.

But let’s not kid ourselves. These laws are effective only if they are enforced. And that involves some cooperation between motorists who spot a hazardous situation and take it upon themselves to report it to police. The police in turn have to follow up on the reports they receive.