A pickup truck seen covered in snow at the entrance to Nanaimo North Town Centre on Wednesday morning. Nanaimo RCMP say the driver of the truck was issued a $109 ticket. (Nanaimo RCMP photo)

Nanaimo police will issue $109 tickets to drivers with too much snow on their vehicles

Snow must be cleared from vehicles, with rear licence plates visible at all times

Not clearing the snow off your vehicle can cost you more than $100, as one motorist in Nanaimo has learned.

Nanaimo RCMP warned motorosts about safe winter driving today, providing the example of a $109 ticket issued yesterday. A snow-covered pickup truck was pulled over on Rutherford Road on Wednesday morning.

Const. Gary O’Brien, spokesman for the Nanaimo RCMP, said the motorist was pulled over, informed about the dangers of driving with snow on his vehicle and issued a driving while view obstructed ticket. O’Brien said the snow on the truck’s roof was of particular concern because it had the potential to fly off.

“When the inside of the cab heats up, once the vehicle brakes or comes to a light, the snow can fly forward and it can then obstruct their windshield or another motorist’s windshield,” O’Brien said.

Nanaimo police have issued a “handful” of such tickets to motorists since snow began falling in the city this week, according to O’Brien. He said motorists should clear the snow completely off their vehicle, especially the windshields, as it can be dangerous.

“If snow flies off it can be a threat to other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists,” O’Brien said, adding that the rear licence plate and decal must also be visible at all times as well.

Environment Canada is expecting an additional 5-10 centimetres of snow for Nanaimo.

“If you’re not comfortable driving in those conditions, don’t drive,” O’Brien said. “It doesn’t get any more simple than that.”

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