Swiss police issue fines to dangerous ‘igloo drivers’

Swiss police issue fines to dangerous 'igloo drivers'
This is how NOT to clear the ice from your car window in the morning. Photo:AFP
Police in the canton of Zug have warned so-called 'igloo drivers' – people who fail to properly clear ice and snow from their cars before getting behind the wheel – that they risk a steep fine and could even lose their licence.

It’s one of the sounds of winter in Switzerland – the early morning symphony of ice being scratched off hundreds of car windscreens

And with temperatures hovering around 0C in much of the country in recent days, ice clearing activity has reached a peak.

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But police in Zug on Monday issued a statement saying they had been forced in recent days to pull over several drivers who had failed to properly clear ice and snow from their car windscreens, windows and side mirrors.

In one case, a driver had only scratched ice from half of the front windscreen, while in other cases police had encountered ice- or snow-covered side windows.

These ‘igloo drivers’ pose a risk to other road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists, because their visibility is reduced, the cantonal police force said.

 (Photo: Kantonspolizei Zug)

Zug police warned drivers that they risked fines and could even lose their licence if they failed to properly clear their cars of ice and snow before setting off.

They added that car roofs must also be cleared of snow and told drivers to give themselves enough time to get their cars safe before travelling.

Under Swiss law, windows, windscreens, side windows, and lights must be kept clean. In addition, number plates must be legible, so snow and ice must be cleared from these too.

People who pose a serious danger to other road users by failing to observe these or other Swiss traffic regulations could even face a prison sentence of up to three years. 

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