Canada's capital city is in the thick of winter, with low temperatures and a healthy dose of snow (and even more on the way). With Ottawa's snowfall already delivering at least seven centimetres, it's a good time to remember how important clearing your vehicle can be during the season.

Local police Constable Martin Dompierre confirmed to Narcity that under section 74, paragraph 1a of the Highway Traffic Act, drivers can be fined $110 for limited visibility on their windows caused by snow.

The section states, "No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle."

Constable Dompierre also confirmed that drivers who fail to completely clear off the top of their vehicle can be charged for having an insecure load under section 111 paragraph 2. 

This section of the act specifies, "No person shall operate or permit to be operated upon a highway a motor vehicle that carries a load or draws a vehicle that carries a load unless the load is loaded, bound, secured, contained or covered so that no portion of the load may become dislodged or fall, leak, spill or blow from the vehicle."

Drivers in Ottawa have already experienced trouble due to vehicles not being cleared of snow and ice.

OPP East shared a tweet about an OC Transpo bus that had its windshield smashed due to ice falling off another vehicle.

"Bus driver lucky to escape with minor injuries. Ice from another vehicle smashed into windshield. Happened on #Hwy417 WB near Metcalfe at 4:25pm. A piece of ice also struck an ambulance. The vehicle the ice came from did not stop. Please clean off your vehicle. #ottnews ^bd" the tweet read. It also included a photo of the bus's destroyed windshield.

OPP East later shared a tweet with two photos of uncleared vehicles, writing "Please TAKE IT ALL OFF! #OttawaOPP has had about 30 calls this week for vehicles damaged by ice flying off of other vehicles. Clean off ALL the ice and snow to help keep everyone safe. Offending drivers could be charged for having an unsafe vehicle. #ottnews #otttraffic ^bd"

The Ottawa Police also tweeted to remind people about the importance of clearing their vehicles, writing "We are hearing of people who had their windshields smashed yesterday after ice flew off the roofs of other vehicles. For everyone's safety, please clean off your entire vehicle before driving. #otttraffic"

In a post on the city's subreddit, user StevenG2757 claimed to see police stopping people at the Maitland onramp and making them pull over to clear off their vehicles.

This appeared to be supported by another tweet from OPP East, which included a photo of cars being cleared off. The tweet reads, "Some folks spotted this at the Maitland onnramp in #Ottawa this afternoon. A little #teamwork to make #Hwy417 and other #ONHwys safer. #Otttraffic #Ottnews ^bd."

With even more powder coming to the region over the weekend, it is more important than ever for drivers to ensure that their cars are cleared of all snow and ice for their own safety and that of others.

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