Road Patrol: Law enforcement officials warn about safety and legal changes in winter weather

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – With brighter and sunnier days so far this season, it’s hard to remember that it is winter in West Virginia.

Before the cold weather settles in, area deputies want to keep people safe and legal, but that starts with making sure people drive at a reasonable speed.

“One thing that changes is the too fast for conditions. That’s a law. The speed limit is for acclimate weather,” said Corporal Ed Clark with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.

Not following those laws can net up to hundreds of dollars in fines from the first offense. Another important requirement is to keep visibility when driving. Just doing the minimum to see out of the car window isn’t enough for the law.

“It’s called obstructed view. You want to make sure all of your windows are clear. The entire window has to be clear. All windows have to be clear that you can see out of them,” said Clark.

And even if you have the windows clear, take the extra time to brush excess snow off the top of vehicles, as Clark said it’s a risk to public safety as well.

“Snow on your car can cause other hazards to other drivers, like snow falling off your car and onto other people’s cars, obstructing their view and then causing accidents as well,” Clark said. “Definitely leave earlier than you would. Give yourself ample enough time to get there and slow down. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles as well when you’re on the roadway. A lot of people make the mistake of being too confident in their winter weather driving abilities, which leads to accidents as well.”

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