No Fine For Too Much Snow
The D.C. Council unanimously approved emergency legislation that will require drivers to remove frozen snow and ice from their vehicles.
But the penalty will be a warning, not a $50 fine.
The bill, introduced by Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), was amended to eliminate the fine until a hearing can be held and council members can study laws in other jurisdictions.
Council member Michael A. Brown (I-At Large) requested the friendly amendment just before the council took a voice vote.
The change was welcome after several council members expressed concerns that the legislation was vague and that residents have not had a chance to weigh in.
Under the legislation, a police officer would determine whether a driver made the effort to clear a vehicle of precipitation. "It seems very, very...subjective on the part of a police officer," said Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large). "If a police officer doesn't like me, I'll get a ticket."
Emergency legislation goes into effect immediately after a signing by the mayor and lasts no more than 90 days. That's just enough time to get through wintry weather.
The council is expected to vote on a temporary bill later. It will last no longer than 225 days.
Nikita R Stewart
February 3, 2009; 12:01 PM ET
Categories: D.C. Council
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