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Canberra drivers reminded to defrost their cars or face $200 fines

Glynis Quinlan 11 June 2019 152
Ice on car windscreen

Police say that every year when the cold sets in they attend accidents caused by drivers not having clear visibility out of their vehicles.

With the arrival of winter and iced-up windscreens, Canberra drivers are being reminded that they must have a clear view from their vehicle when driving – or face a fine of $200.

ACT Policing said that every year when the cold weather causes a build-up of frost or fog, police attend numerous collisions that have occurred as a result of drivers having poor visibility out of their vehicles.

Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Acting Station Sergeant David Wills said it’s critically important to be able to see from your vehicle while driving.

“We’ve had some very frosty mornings recently, and I’d just like to reiterate that if you can’t see out of your vehicle because of frost on the outside or fog on the inside, please don’t drive until you have a clear view,” Acting Station Sergeant Wills said.

“The legislation surrounding these matters is quite clear – a driver must not drive a motor vehicle unless they have a clear view of the road, as well as traffic ahead, behind and to each side of the vehicle.

“Drivers who operate a vehicle without a clear view through the windows face a fine of $200, which is an expensive alternative to simply waiting until your windscreens are clear and unobstructed.”

Windscreen repairer Novus agrees and urges drivers to avoid ‘portholing’ – which refers to driving while only one small part of your windshield is cleaned from the frost. Novus said this not only puts the driver’s life at risk but also the lives of other people on the road.

Police say that drivers must have a clear view of the road, as well as traffic ahead, behind and to each side of the vehicle. Photo supplied by ACT Policing.

According to Novus, there are six main ways of defrosting a car windscreen. These are:

  • Use water, but not boiling water
    This is one of the most common ways of defrosting a windscreen because it is cheap and does the job quickly. However, you should use lukewarm water and never boiling water, as this can crack the glass. Novus suggests using lukewarm water, defrosting the glass, and then wiping away the residue with a dry cloth or a plastic ice scraper.
  • Use an ice scraper
    This method is cheap but not so fast and effective. It can be convenient if you don’t have access to other methods, but annoying if you are already running late. The advice is never to use a metal scraper though, as this will scratch your glass.
  • Use your credit card
    Sometimes if people don’t have a plastic ice scraper they use their credit or debit cards to do the job. It will obviously take longer because it is smaller. The advice is to make sure you use the long edge of the credit card because that way you will be able to clean the bigger surface and the card will be less bendy.
  • Rubbing alcohol in water
    Novus suggests that another good way to defrost a windscreen is by using rubbing alcohol or isopropyl and water. Put 1/3 part water and 2/3 part isopropyl or rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and you are ready to fight the frost. However, if you do not want alcohol to damage the paint on the car, make sure to wash and wax it on a regular basis.
  • Use your heater
    If you have an extra half an hour or so in the morning, you can go outside and defrost the windscreen with the heater. Novus suggests turning the heat on max, turning the air conditioner on, and rolling down the window just a little bit. This will defrost your windscreen but takes time.
  • Buy a de-icer
    If you do not want to make the mixture up yourself, you can buy industrial de-icer. Novus says that it does the job quickly, can be kept in the car, and does not damage the windscreen.

Do you have a favourite method of defrosting your car? Let us know in the comments below.

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152 Responses to
Canberra drivers reminded to defrost their cars or face $200 fines
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8:59 am 13 Jun 19

Quick tip. Boil a jug and pour it on all windows. Makes it so clear like they're not even there

    9:26 am 13 Jun 19

    D'uh! Yeah. Poor boiling water on frozen glass and watch it shatter. Not a good start to a frosty morning.

    9:57 am 13 Jun 19

    Ray Atkin d'uh sarcasm 🙄

    12:00 pm 13 Jun 19

    Chris Pomana Parkin You reckon? You done it on a -5 Canberra morning? Ain't funny, I wasn't being sarcastic, you don't appear to live in the real, hard, practical world.

    6:53 am 14 Jun 19

    Ray the original post you replied to was entirely sarcastic but you didn't get the joke.

    5:42 pm 14 Jun 19

    Darron Marks Maybe, but some people just might believe it and do it. My next door neighbours did in their first winter in Cba.

    5:44 pm 14 Jun 19

    Chris Pomana Parkin I didn't say I put any sort of water on the windscreen, nor did I say it was -5 on any morning, not yet anyway. If you can't make a point without misrepresenting or verballing give it away.

    6:39 pm 14 Jun 19

    That can cause a crack in the windscreen. Maybe use just slightly warm water.

11:32 pm 12 Jun 19

I just use thoughts and prayers

10:49 pm 12 Jun 19

Kirsten Heaton Hannah Luckie uhh oh gotta wake up earlier in the mornings now ladies

9:45 pm 12 Jun 19

Louise Brooks not our problem anymore!

9:26 pm 12 Jun 19

Stephen Garbode I used all the water - "heck yes the windscreen is so clear!"

You-"Umm.. Yeah... I was gonna ask if you could do the back as well but dw about it"

7:48 pm 12 Jun 19

Heater full-blast with on demister setting, to blow hot air straight onto the windshield, wipers going full-speed and an occasional squirt from the window washers.

6:35 pm 12 Jun 19

6:29 pm 12 Jun 19

My car allows you to remote start it from the house so it is warm by the time you want to out

6:05 pm 12 Jun 19

Throw an old sheet over the whole car and bam instant clear windows.

5:57 pm 12 Jun 19

Doug Wright get your magic spray available.

5:03 pm 12 Jun 19

Become a car 'dealer' for "ice" 💰

3:02 pm 12 Jun 19

My favourite way to defrost my windscreen was moving to Brisbane 😆 sorry I just had to say it! #SunshineState

2:02 pm 12 Jun 19

What’s in the spray bottle?

1:41 pm 12 Jun 19

Yes put a cover over the car

12:53 pm 12 Jun 19

Carlos Susano bit concerning that people need to be told this..

11:19 am 12 Jun 19

I just covered the car with an old curtain from vinnies....

11:17 am 12 Jun 19

Shaun Coash I had no idea that was a fine here

    11:22 am 12 Jun 19

    Michelle Ntz this should be common sense though... how can you drive if you can’t see?!

11:01 am 12 Jun 19

Steven Phillips, Emma Hodges,

Doreen Dolores get that spray bottle out 🤣

9:44 am 12 Jun 19

Seth Carter does it even get frosty here?

9:23 am 12 Jun 19

Just use the light rail... Guys? Guys?

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