Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Daily flights from Canberra
to Singapore and the world

Police want your windows defrosted before you drive

By johnboy 12 June 2013 36

windscreen

With winter upon us, ACT Policing is urging all Canberra drivers to remove ice from all the glass surfaces of their vehicles.

Frosted windscreens and windows pose a significant danger to road users, as they reduce visibility and can intensify the glare of the sun.

Officer-in-Charge of Traffic Operations Sergeant Rod Anderson said it was the responsibility of motorists to ensure all their windows are free of frost as to not impede their vision when driving.

“Anyone leaving their vehicles out in sub-zero temperatures experienced in Canberra recently must take the time to defrost their windows and mirrors before heading off on their journey,” Sergeant Anderson said.

“It’s actually an offence to drive a vehicle if your vision, to the front or rear is obstructed. If police pull you over with ice, or any other object obstructing your vision, you can be fined $80.”

“It’s just a matter of taking a bit of extra time to make sure car’s safe. If you can’t garage your car overnight get up 10 minutes earlier, pour lukewarm (never hot) water over your vehicle and make sure your demisters are functioning properly before you leave.”

Last year police attended a collision in Conder in which a driver, whose view was obstructed by frost on her windscreen, collided with the back of an ACTION bus.

The driver was issued with a Traffic Infringement Notice for ‘driving a vehicle without clear view’.

“This incident highlighted how driving without a clear view is highly dangerous to you and to others, and may result in a collision that could cost those involved significant cost, inconvenience and injury,” Sergeant Anderson said.

[Courtesy ACT Policing, Photo by Galileo55 CC BY 2.0]

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
36 Responses to
Police want your windows defrosted before you drive
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Watson 11:39 am 13 Jun 13

tim_c said :

Only if you leave it there. Once you’ve poured the water on, a quick swish of the wipers removes all the water and then there is nothing left there to freeze. Occasionally on very cold mornings it may freeze as the wipers go over it, in this event it is only a very thin film which is easily removed by scraping it with the edge of a driver’s licence.

If you’re doing this on your own, just make sure you don’t stand too close to the end of the wiper!

I have never noticed a problem with windows fogging up because of frost. Usually it’s rain that does it, but that’s why cars have demisters. Which I find work well for getting rid of ice too, combined with the windscreenwipers, once they’re defrosted.

And if I turn my heating vents towards the side windows, they are quickly defrosted enough to get most of the ice off by winding them down and up again.

Of course, the next best thing to parking it under cover or covering the windows is to park it where it will get the morning sun. That’s usually enough in Canberra.

It’s such mild frost here, it’s really not that big an issue.

tim_c 10:59 am 13 Jun 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

Well, the ice scraper works for about half a block before the screen is fogged up on the inside. It takes 5 minutes for the engine to warm up before the de-mister kicks in to operation.

Using the air-con combined with the demister will clear fog quickly from inside the windscreen. If you don’t have air-con, you can leave windows open to equalise inside and outside temperature and prevent fogging, once the heater warms up, use the demister with a high fan speed and low heat.

wildturkeycanoe said :

CHW – Towels do not work. The van I drive has almost vertical windscreen and even more vertical back window. You cannot attach a towel to either.

You could use an old sheet – just open both front doors, put the sheet over the windscreen so the ends fall into the door openings and close the doors to hold the sheet in place – what’s so difficult about that? If you have an external mirror on each side of the vehicle, you don’t need to be able to see out the back window. I’d have thought most vans built in the last 30 years would have an in-built demister and rear wiper – melt the ice using the electric demister, then wipe it off with the wiper.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Warm water just freezes after 30 seconds.

Only if you leave it there. Once you’ve poured the water on, a quick swish of the wipers removes all the water and then there is nothing left there to freeze. Occasionally on very cold mornings it may freeze as the wipers go over it, in this event it is only a very thin film which is easily removed by scraping it with the edge of a driver’s licence.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Aeek – Are you serious??? How can I fit my frozen hose to the tap in my kitchen where it takes up to 45 seconds for warmish water to get through on the best of days??? Your comment is totally lacking in any sort of intellect or common sense. Get real already.

So what are you saying? “It’s all too hard, I’ll just continue to drive when I can’t see, even if it risks the lives of other road users (cf. your earlier post http://the-riotact.com/who-gives-way-on-sandford-st/105438 where you appeared to have difficulty seeing another legitimate road user)” I never bothered with a hose, I always used a small bucket which I filled inside the house, then I took it outside to poured on the windows. Turn the wipers on to wipe away the water before it froze up again and most days the whole car (including mirrors) was clear in less than a minute.

You might consider keeping your garden hose on a slope so it drains and therefore doesn’t freeze up – preventing it from being blocked by ice may be useful in case you have a house fire.

bundah 10:37 am 13 Jun 13

Yep I do recall the person who t-boned me did get charged with neg driving.Mind you if one were to wipe someone out they potentially would be charged with negligent driving occasioning death for which the maximum is two years. Naturally he would need to be found guilty for which there are no guarantees.

tim_c 10:30 am 13 Jun 13

“… driving without a clear view is highly dangerous to you and to others, and may result in a collision that could cost those involved significant cost, inconvenience and injury,” Sergeant Anderson said.

Surely an $80 fine is a bit token given the seriousness of driving when you can’t see where you’re going?

dtc 10:14 am 13 Jun 13

Fogging (on the inside) is caused by condensation. What happens is that your breath and other bodily expulsions makes the air in the car warmer and wetter. When the warm wet air hits the cold windscreen that warm air is suddenly cooled upon contact and so condensation occurs upon the cool surface.

Oddly one solution is to run your air con – because it dries out the air (by blowing dry air into the car). So you can do this even when the engine is cold – of course, you are cold as well, but it stops the fogging. So blow your air con through the outlets on the dash.

And when the engine warms up, keep the air con on but turn the temperature up. Sounds strange but you then are blowing hot dry air. In some cars ‘hot aircon’ is the same as the heater anyway, but in others the air con and heater work a bit differently.

So scrape off the ice then run your air con.

eily 8:54 am 13 Jun 13

Aeek said :

We all have an available supply of warm water. Roughly 50% of us have hoses.

I’ve heard tell that that ‘water’ can be too warm and the end result is a cracked window.

And there can be another problem with pouring water over your car. The run off can freeze over/in your keyhole. Not a problem with new keyless cars but with older ones…Being stuck to the side of your car ’cause you tried to thaw the ice with your mouth…I believe thats embarrassing.

JC 7:25 am 13 Jun 13

thatsnotme said :

What’s wrong with just starting the car 5-10 minutes before you leave, and letting the heater take care of it? Not only can you see, but you avoid freezing your arse off while you wait for the heater to kick in.

The heater generally doesn’t do the side windows, these need to be clear too you know?

TheBusDriver 7:18 am 13 Jun 13

CHW said :

Gorgeous picture, btw…

Anyhoo – pro-tip: two old beach towels, one for the *outside* of the front windscreen, one for the *outside* of the back windscreen.

Also, four (if you have a four-door sedan-type car, fewer towels if you have a coupe etc) old bathtowels, or cloth nappies – one for the (you guessed it) *outside* of each window.

So – in the evening, you cover the back and front windscreens with a towel each, and tuck the ends of the towels inside the car; and you wind the window of each door down enough to hang the smaller towel/cloth nappy outside the car, closing the window to keep the cloth in place.

Aaaaand then in the morning, open the doors to release the ends of the towels, whip the towels off* the windows, and hey presto – no ice on the glass!

*disclaimer: after a really frosty night, it may not be possible to whip your towel off the window at all… stiff as a board, eyah?

You live in Queanbeyan don’t you?

Felix the Cat 5:23 am 13 Jun 13

A sheeet of cardboard on the windscreen (or a folded up cardboard box is better – thicker so less prone to falling apart) with the wipers holding it in place is a good tip. Side and rear windows will still get iced up but at least with the front coverd then there’s one less window to defrost.

If it’s cold enough for a frost then chances are your garden hose is going to be frozen as well. A bucket of warm (not hot – could crack the windscreen) water should get rid of the ice but problem is any residue water still on your windows will refreeze thicker, harder and more opaque as soon as you start driving, so you are best to scrape ice off if you can.

wildturkeycanoe 11:02 pm 12 Jun 13

BimboGeek said :

CHW’s towel invention would set off my alarm. I’m totally happy to try it if I can park her outside one of your bedrooms.

What???? I’m guessing the movement of the freezing material sets off the sensors in the alarm. That’s quite sensitive. Still, I think it doesn’t work anyway, as soon as you dive off, the windows freeze up with the cold wind anyway. I’ve tried it in the past and a couple of hundred metres away the wipers smear the mist across the nicely chilled glass and “Hey Presto”, your wipers are stuck half way across. Brilliant.

Aeek 11:01 pm 12 Jun 13

Maybe I should have said “portable warm water supply”, not potable unless you are desperate or kinky.

BimboGeek 10:18 pm 12 Jun 13

CHW’s towel invention would set off my alarm. I’m totally happy to try it if I can park her outside one of your bedrooms.

wildturkeycanoe 10:16 pm 12 Jun 13

Pork Hunt said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Well, the ice scraper works for about half a block before the screen is fogged up on the inside. It takes 5 minutes for the engine to warm up before the de-mister kicks in to operation.[ Humerous anecdote – How much extra CO2 is this going to add to our planet’s woes??? ]. Back to the serious part now, even if you defrost the mirrors about a block from home they fog up in some conditions. How do you keep them from doing this? I don’t think they have mirror heaters in many cars yet.

Five minutes my arse. Might get rid of light mist inside but won’t remove ice from the outside. Turning the heater/demister onto full fan with a cold engine will only cause it to warm up slower. Water cools your engine but is used to heat the inside of your vehicle. Cold water will not de-ice your windscreen

Correction – Yes, the heater water circulates while the engine is running, but I do not think a heater core is as effective as a radiator, unless of course it starts blowing warm air, which means the engine has reached temperature. Fan full or fan slow, doesn’t make much difference when the fan is a tiny little toy.
CHW – Towels do not work. The van I drive has almost vertical windscreen and even more vertical back window. You cannot attach a towel to either. Also, it does not fit in a garage [ ot the regular size ones in Canberra anyway], so there is no option except to wait for eons for the engine to warm up. Warm water just freezes after 30 seconds.
Aeek – Are you serious??? How can I fit my frozen hose to the tap in my kitchen where it takes up to 45 seconds for warmish water to get through on the best of days??? Your comment is totally lacking in any sort of intellect or common sense. Get real already.

Aeek 9:44 pm 12 Jun 13

We all have an available supply of warm water. Roughly 50% of us have hoses.

Pork Hunt 9:42 pm 12 Jun 13

poetix said :

CHW said :

Gorgeous picture, btw…

Anyhoo – pro-tip: two old beach towels, one for the *outside* of the front windscreen, one for the *outside* of the back windscreen.

Also, four (if you have a four-door sedan-type car, fewer towels if you have a coupe etc) old bathtowels, or cloth nappies – one for the (you guessed it) *outside* of each window.

So – in the evening, you cover the back and front windscreens with a towel each, and tuck the ends of the towels inside the car; and you wind the window of each door down enough to hang the smaller towel/cloth nappy outside the car, closing the window to keep the cloth in place.

Aaaaand then in the morning, open the doors to release the ends of the towels, whip the towels off* the windows, and hey presto – no ice on the glass!

*disclaimer: after a really frosty night, it may not be possible to whip your towel off the window at all… stiff as a board, eyah?

Thank you so much! I will try this next time frost threatens, when I may have to use my car quite early.

Though some clever clogs will no doubt take a photo with a caption like ‘The opposite of a towel warmer. They breed them tough in O’Connor.’

Not that anyone would believe that.

Freeze drying is a method of water removal. No water, no ice…

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site