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Insight from WFPD: Cooler weather brings obstructed views for vehicles

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opinion Fargo, 58102

Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

With the return of cooler weather, vehicles left outside are bound to be covered in a layer of heavy dew, frost or snow.

Before driving, make sure you completely clear your windshield, mirrors, side and rear windows of anything that may affect your field of vision. Taking the time to do so could save your life or someone else's.

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West Fargo ordinance 13-1506 reads as follows: windshields must be unobstructed and equipped with wipers.

1. No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any sign, poster, frost, condensation, or other nontransparent material upon or in place of the front windshield, sidewings, side or rear windows of such motor vehicle, other than a certificate or other paper required to be so displayed by law.

2. The windshield on every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield, which device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle.

3. Every windshield wiper upon a motor vehicle shall be maintained in good working order.

The fine for a violation is $20.

Engineers have designed your vehicle to meet strict federal standards for safety. The design of the windows, placement of the mirrors and roof support columns, and function of the defrosters and wipers are meant to provide you the optimum view of the world outside your vehicle. By failing to ensure an adequate sight picture of your surroundings, you are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.

Every vehicle should carry a tool capable of removing ice and snow from the window and mirrors. Allowing your vehicle to warm up for a few minutes also will assist in making sure your windows remain clear.

While cleaning, don't forget to brush off your headlights and taillights to make sure they are free of obstruction. Another good idea is to remove snow accumulations from the hood, roof and trunk areas of your car. Loose snow on your hood can be drawn into your defroster and cause your windshield to fog on the inside. Snow blowing from your roof and trunk can create visibility issues for other drivers.

Take the time now to make sure you are prepared for the upcoming season. A few moments spent preparing can make every trip a safe one.

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