Jack Frost may be setting you up for a ticket – or worse
A recent PEMCO poll shows that some drivers' ice-removing habits may leave them out in the cold.
About a quarter of residents in the greater Portland area and slightly fewer in Washington admit they don't always finish scraping their windshields clear of ice and snow. That's about the same number who don't know that a frosty windshield can earn them a traffic citation.
Washington and Oregon laws state that windshields must be kept free of any nontransparent material, which includes ice, frost, and snow. Scraping a few holes doesn't offer a broad enough view to react to cars or people coming from various angles.
About two-thirds of drivers fire up their engines to warm the heater – a great idea as long as you don't head back inside to wait while the ice melts. Car thieves troll neighborhoods looking for easy grab-and-go opportunities on frosty mornings. What's more, both Washington and Oregon law prohibit drivers from leaving running vehicles unattended.
The poll showed that 53% of responders living east of the Cascades said they deal with ice daily during the winter months. In the more moderate temperatures west of the mountains, weekly scraping is the norm for 60% of drivers.
NORTHWEST FAST FACT
The ice scraper cometh! Check out these average first-frost dates.
Spokane, Sept. 10
Yakima, Sept. 21
Olympia, Sept. 30
Bellingham, Oct. 1
Vancouver, Oct. 6
Seattle, Oct. 27
Klamath Falls, Aug. 31
La Grande, Sept. 9
Hood River, Sept. 24
Corvallis, Oct. 8
Portland, Oct. 18
Gold Beach, Nov. 6