Be sure to clear frost off car windows first

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Column: Ask a Trooper, by Jacalyn Sticha

Q: The other day I saw a car’s windows so frosted that the driver had to roll one down to check for other cars. What is the law on frosted windows?

Jacalyn Sticha

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.”

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Start early; taking a few minutes to warm the vehicle so frost, ice and snow can be easily removed. Do not be tempted to drive off before the job is completed. Driving is about seeing; a little circle cleared on the windshield, in front of the driver, is insufficient, dangerous and illegal.

It is a good idea to remove the snow off the entire vehicle so it does not engulf you, in a cloud, when you pick up speed. Clearing all the snow will prevent it from coming in through the vents, also. Finally, do not forget to give your front and rear lights some care, as well, so others can see you, your brake lights and your signals.

When stopped for this violation you will likely need to remain until you have cleared off your vehicle’s window completely.


Q: I was arguing with a friend about state troopers, are you cops or do you just write tickets?

A: Minnesota State Troopers are fully trained and licensed peace officers. Minnesota peace officers branch out in many directions after being hired; state, county, city and many divisions within each. The Minnesota State Patrol’s primary responsibility is traffic safety and crash investigation.

The mission states, “To protect and serve all people in the state through assistance, education, and enforcement: provide support to allied agencies; and provide for safe, efficient movement of traffic on Minnesota’s roadways.”

With nearly six hundred state troopers, we have a variety of responsibilities. A vast majority of our troopers perform patrol duties and work hard every day to keep our roads and highways safe. However, you may not be aware of some of our additional duties and assignments.

Our Aviation Section has a fleet of seven aircraft, including three helicopters. We provide airborne services, such as crash/crime scene photography, surveillance, search and rescue, disaster reconnaissance and more.

As Capitol Security, we provide a secure environment on the State Capitol grounds for legislators and officials. We have full time specially trained troopers to secure and protect the governor, his family and the governor’s residence.

The Minnesota State Patrol’s Special Response Team is a tactical unit, which provides assistance statewide to local law enforcement as well as specific duties on the Capitol grounds.

Other positions held within the Minnesota State Patrol are: crash reconstructionist, canine/criminal interdiction teams, drug recognition experts, vehicle crimes and auto theft investigators and public information troopers. We are an essential piece of the law enforcement community.

Jacalyn Sticha is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.