Ask a Trooper: Frosted windows

Q: The other day at an intersection I noticed a car with the windows so frosted up that the driver had to roll down a window to check for cars coming from my side. What is the law on frosted windows?

A: Minnesota Statute 169.71 subdivision 3 states: “No person shall drive any motor vehicle with the windshield or front side windows covered with steam or frost to such an extent as to prevent proper vision.”

While the statute does not mention the rear windows I highly recommend that all windows be cleared. Too many people remove the snow from the windows but leave it piled high on the engine hood. If all the snow is not removed, when a vehicle reaches highway speeds some snow can be blown from the vehicle and sucked into the fresh air intake area of your car (normally located near the bottom of the front windshield). This usually results in an almost instant moisture fog-up on the inside of your windows and windshield. Try to make sure you get all the snow from your vehicle. It will help your visibility and it could help you avoid a crash.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, Minn. 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.)

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