We’ve all seen those annoying drivers on a cold winter’s morning – scraping just enough ice from their screen to give them a ‘porthole’ for vision, but what you may not know is that anyone caught driving like that could face a £60 fine and three penalty points.
In fact, as winter rolls around again, it’s worth knowing that there are a few situations that could see you in hot water if you’re not aware of them – the act of ‘portholing’ is just one of them.
With police forces actively clamping down on drivers with poor vision, it was only a matter of time before the net widened to try and catch drivers that are too lazy to clear their windscreen properly before setting off.
Whilst a £60 fine and three penalty points may seem harsh for failing to clear the screen, the reality is that there’s no real difference between that and driving with poor eyesight, which carries a much stiffer penalty, it could possibly be argued that failing to clear a screen should carry a harsher penalty still.
While ‘portholing’ is a very defined term, what isn’t clear is just what that constitutes – how much of the screen should be clear? Common sense tells us that any significant obstruction to our view is dangerous, and that to take an extra few minutes to finish clearing the screen and windows is the sensible choice, but does the screen need clearing completely, or just the majority?
The Highway Code is very clear:
- You must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
- You must ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
- Make sure that the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
- Remove all snow that might fall into the path of other road users
While it’s tempting to start your car and let the heat do the work for you, that in itself can be an offence if the vehicle is on a public road (as opposed to your driveway), which could result in a £20 fine.
Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988 and rule 123 of the Highway Code states that “you must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road”. However, defining necessary or unnecessary could potentially be a defence; it was necessary to demist or de-ice the windscreen. It would take a particularly zealous police officer to book you for the offence.
Perhaps of more importance is the fact that any insurance company would likely refuse a claim if your car was stolen under the same circumstance; leaving your car to de-ice with the engine running unattended would likely be seen as a failure in duty of care – that you’ll take reasonable precaution to keep your vehicle safe.
Driving in winter
Driving in winter presents a host of new challenges that we in the UK aren’t specifically taught how to deal with, and no amount of ‘how-to’ articles will prepare you for the reality of driving in snow and ice. Best advice (when the weather is particularly inclement) is to only drive when completely necessary.
Should you find yourself in the position of having to make a journey, experts say that you should have a Winter Survival Kit prepared. This may seem extreme, especially if you’re confident of your abilities, but many times, drivers have found themselves stuck due to other motorists.
Your winter kit should include:
- Any personal medications
- Fully charged mobile phone with in-car charger
- First aid kit
- Road atlas (in case of detours and road closures)
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch with spare batteries
- Snacks (in extremis!)
- Extra screenwash
Shop bought de-icing solution is readily available through supermarkets, garages and convenience stores, but should you wish to make yourself a greener remedy, or in case you run out of pre-packaged, you can make a simple de-icing solution using three parts white vinegar to one part water.
Preparing your car
Just as you should carry a winter survival kit, you should ensure that your car is fully-prepared for winter: check that you have the right amount of anti-freeze, that your tyres are in good condition, windscreen wipers are smear-free and that your screenwash is topped off. This won’t stop you getting into trouble, but it will help to keep you out of it.
Do you have any tips for winter driving? Should drivers that ‘porthole’ face a stiffer fine? What’s in your winter survival kit? Let us know in the comments.
What about extra can of fuel.
A flask of hot water tea bags or coffe sachets & maybe some instant noodles so that you can have a hot drink & hot food
Flares for attracting attention, life belt in case of flood, machete in case of zombie apocalypse and a body bag in case you die. Can’t be too careful!
Why ? To light a fire if cold
You should never light a fire using petrol.
Using petrol to light a fire, will clear your windscreen of ice. It may not help you get to work though!
I think you will find it is illegal
Seems like common sense to me! And what my parents taught me too!
Apply a good glass sealant and poor cold water on a frosted screen. The water will clear the frost and will sheet off the glass leaving it clear…
If anyone had a good solution to clearing the condensation from inside, I’d like to hear 🙂
I put an electric fan heater in the back of the car plugged in to an outside socket. It can be switched on some time before leaving home from a switched spur inside.
How long before depending on conditions outside on any particular morning. Lovely!
Great idea. I sometimes use small oil filled radiator in footwell. Cavble to garage socket/ outlet and use timer for it to come on 20 minuites before I need to drive. Not good unless you set tiner correctly though.
Why not just put your car in your garage …😛
Up and over door won’t over snows to deep.
Buy acar with a heated screen… 😉 I now have this on my current car and it is a brilliant invention. Having said that for as many years as I can remember I have used a bucket of warm (not hot) water as a screen clearer if it is not stupidly cold (down to about -3) I would start the car, get the blowers going then hit the screen with a large enoughh shot of water that coers most of the screen at the same time and before any one jumps in to tell me that this will break the window,, I have never cracked a screen in 40 years of using this technique, the seacret is in getting a wide spread of water to minimise local stresses in the glass.
Heated front screens are brilliant but in the interests of safety, Ford – who invended it, held on to the patent for years and year so other companies couldn’t use it. In contrast. When Bosch invented abs they released the patent to allow all companies to use it.
the patent expired a LONG time ago now, hence VW and Skoda have the option, and Ford released it to Jaguar/Land Rover when they were under Ford ownership, prior to the Tata takeover of JLR.
and yes ive had the heated windscreen in pretty much every Ford ive owned since my mk3 Granada (Ford Puma was the only one that DIDNT have it specced and as always it was bought second hand) and it is the BEST thing ever for cars that have to live outside
Ford did not invent the heated windscreen, they were just the first car builder to fit them to larger-volume production models. Renault had already fitted heated screens to a production car – as they were compelled to remind Ford back in the 80’s when Henry’s press releases started spouting about ‘their’ new technology.
The downside is that you leave a lot of water on the ground, that will freeze and cause a hazard to pedestrians and other drivers if they park in that spot after you’ve gone! I speak from experience 😢
Sit in the car and wait whilst the car warms up with heaters etc.on.
Great idea – not everyone can just go out and buy a car with heated screen – perhaps you would like to buy me one? Joking aside, I used to have a Ford Puma and the heated screen was a real bonus.
Put a few silicon pouches on dashboard demist in half the time.
Why is it 90% of people cannot work the heating system in their car?
To avoid condensation, once windows have cleared, blast hot air to feet to dry carpets. It is wetness of carpets which causes condensation.
Try cleaning glass with Autoglym glass polish with kitchen roll. Takes a day or 2 to die down but it helps windows clear from inside mist.
Rubber floor mats work better in winter (not porous).
The AA say aircon will clear condensation
“If anyone had a good solution to clearing the condensation from inside, I’d like to hear 🙂”
Cat litter in a sock absorbs dampness
It would make it too painfull to walk to the car
There are small bags you can buy that you place on the dash when you park up last thing, they suck up condensation,
Where do you get your poor cold water from ?
Seeing a Policeman anytime would a miracle. Let alone one prepared to actually do something about something.
In Cambridgeshire we were doing this over ten years ago when I was RPU Inspector.. including people coming out of police station car parks
Chris, that was 10 years ago, times have changed, the force has been cut back savagely, and they cannot even attend burglaries these days, let alone motorists, unless on a specialised weekly mission. Cambridgeshire, like Lincoln and other shires, now sees police travelling hundreds of mile in a shift, and only the serious incidents take preference. My family lives in Lincolnshire, and the situation has become stupid. You also say police station car parks, Few of them now exist, they have been sold off to developers and property magnates.
No they are too busy investigating people on facepuke and twatter for posting the truth about islam or thieveing politicians, bankers and protecting them.
We said. Police more interested in investigating English patriots.
How right you are Gary……new kit arriving for the fuzz soon….a prayer mat, copy of the Koran and a crash course in Arabic!!! I’d love to put my email attached to this comment but some twat will say I’ve broken some rule or other and I will get a fatwa or the wrath of a Mullah coming to sabotage my frickin turkey!!! lol
You really don’t sound to me to be very Christian. More like an embittered individual with no spiritual thoughts whatsoever, but who thinks he must be a Christian simply because he is not Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, Sikh or Buddhist !
I thought we were supposed to be talking about frosted windscreens, not your religish tendencies.
We have a similar problem where we live in the south part of St Albans in Hertfordshire. It’s was very annoying when we lost our part time police station to development at the end of our road 5-6 years ago. We have more untaxed & out of date MOT’d motors & more hazards to get out on to the joining main road.
Our part-time police station was recently turned into a police museum – so the young folks can see what it was like when we used to have police…
You must understand that it’s actually your Local Council’s job to investigate and remove abandoned or illegal vehicles not your very hard worked & under manned Police force .
I do sympathise with you all about the selling off of local Nicks, but that’s your County Council.
Did you Vote for them to do this?
loads of cars drive around with defective headlights, even pushbikes dont think they need lights and just reflectors are fine… Wisbech, Cambs…
Got a Dash Cam?
It’s unfair to say there aren’t any police around. I see them every day sitting in their mobile radar vans and in unmarked cars at the side of the road having just pulled someone over for speeding! Admittedly, I rarely seem them on foot.
The ‘Mobile Radar Vans’ as you call them are invariably manned by civilian police staff who cannot issue you a ticket but can point the camera that automatically issues one.
What the flock are civilian Police staff? Maybe if the PC brigade and the PI( PERFORMANCE INDICATOR) nazis stopped concentrating on so-called ‘hate crimes’ and went back to ‘BASICS’ maybe we would get back to ‘POLICING’ AS WE USED TO KNOW IT!’
Staff that don’t carry a warrant card this includes PCSO’s otherwise know a plastic police men and women who are powerless to do anything other than a citizens arrest.
Try that one on the Highways Agency Operators!
Civilian police staff shouldn’t be in a marked police vehicle trying to catch speeders, it’s not legal. So if you do get caught doing 35 mph in a 30 mph limit it can’t be enforced because a civilian was in charge of the equipment. Try that one Mr plod.
As I’ve indicated they may be Gov.com agents, and they really do have powers of arrest. A Tory invention?
Every time I go to the supermarket there they are, doing their shopping.
If they’d just felt the collar of a shop lifter I woul wouldn’t mind so much.
In Surrey they even wear their guns while they are shopping.!
I was in a local Co-op and beside me was a PC with a hand-gun in his holster, buying his sandwich for his break.
I seem to remember (10 to 15 years ago.?) that their guns had to be kept in the “gun-box” in the Traffic-car or dedicated ARV.
When I questioned this practice with the Ops Inspector at Mount Browne she said that “she encouraged” her officers to carry their weapons at all times.!
It was not intimidating for me, but may be for some people.
Seems Hampshire or Thames Valley (not sure which as they do not seem to openly advertise on their uniforms which force they are from) also carry their weapons all the times as I saw a totally humourless, very young-looking officer in Tescos at The Meadows a few weeks ago doing-so. I say humourless as I commented that it surely wasn’t that bad in Blackwater that he needed to wear his gun while shopping.. and he just looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language and walked away without saying a word. That is what separates the public from what have appeared to have become “automatons” with no sense of humour.!
Personally living where I do “Terrorist ally” I like to see the Armed Cops.
They do have the right to breaks the same as the rest of us!
Are you sure they weren’t Highways agency operatives?
BACK TO THE ORIGINAL TOPIC WOULD BE NICE
But when it comes to levying fines they are invariably on the ball (however bloody useless they may be if you encounter a burglar in your home).
Go on a Brexit march and you will see plenty of policemen. There when you don’t need them and not there when you do!
Always able to find 600 coppers for the Brixton Canival. Police are like the NHS, managed by morons.
Maybe the opposite…see them more doing this fining motorists and holding speed guns….nothing at all to do with catching criminals !!!
Speeding is a crime, and if you kill someone as my friend was by a speeding hard done by motorist, they just get a rap on the Knuckles.
No its not criminal at all, its a civil infraction
wild life have added police to the endangered species ,act now before they join the DoDo
Likewise, parents taught me to carry all the above. Also a down-filled coat, beanie, pair of w/proof boots and WOOL loopstitch trek socks. Office shoes are useless and wellies are freezing if you need to get out. Halfords sell an inexpensive foil insulating blanket that folds to the size of an envelope. Might never use it until you’re stranded but might save a life. Bottle of water. Sorted.
The foil insulating blanket is available in pound shop/stores, yes that’s right for a pound.
Vinegar freezes at about -2ºC so diluting this slightly with water will make the freezing point between -1 and -2ºC; hardly a significant deicing solution. Also, who would want to pour acid, albeit a weak acid, over their car?
Wrong! Look up “eutectic”
Probably still not very cold, but lower than either on its own.
I remember a police force that removed keys from idling cars…. on the road ANDon driveways.
When the owner reported missing keys they were told to collect from police station after 11am (when that shift returned)
some VERY angry drivers but 100% success in a little over a week
(thankfully a neighbouring area not mine)
As far as I am aware, it is not illegal for a car to be left running on private land, so unless the police had another reason for going to these addresses they where, a, trespassing and, b, committing theft. I think there may be some missing facts here.
I used to run the engine to defrost the car, and lock the door with the spare key.
That is like talking Rocket Science for some folk, Lol.
Some cars will not let you do that unless you have dissed-off a wire or two to the driver’s door-lock. Similarly, they will not let you lock them using the remote. My 2001 Volvo (P2, “Ford” Jelly-mould Volvo) would not let you lock the car from the outside (you could still lock the car from inside if you were in it) with key or with remote if the engine was running and key was in the ignition-switch. If wire-mod was done and ideally with Runlock (see earlier post), the car could be locked and left securely with the engine running.
Agreed Pete. Checked with my neighbour who is a policeman, he has never heard of this and believes it to be an urban myth. I will check on Snopes.com later to see if it is true or not. He did say a policeman might possibly knock and warn you that a thief might take the opportunity to steal a vehicle with an engine running on the driveway though.
Actually it is not ‘Theft’. Without going into legal detail, ‘Theft’ state ‘with the INTENTION to PERMANENTLY deprive ….’; Therefore Police are NOT guilty of theft as such as they (presumably)leaving them a note (Best Practice) or informing them to collect etc., as they report the matter to the Stn.
OK, substitute tampering with a parked vehicle.
This happened to my grandmother, many years ago. However the police officer hadn’t noticed her dog in the car. Grandma returned to find police officer with arm through half opened window, and wrist firmly clamped between dogs teeth!
The quickest and most effective way to clear your car I always used before retiring was to half fill (for lightness) a watering can with a rose fitted and put enough HOT water, from a hot run tap, to raise the temperature slightly above Tepid. Keep the spray moving so the glass warms up evenly and gently. Experience will allow you to adjust the amount of hot water you use. Most important is to keep the hot spray moving. Start at the top and work down including the body work too, to aid a swifter warm car when you drive off. Keep rear window electric heater on to dry inside surface for next use.
Just pour luke warm water over your windows & it instantly clears with ease. Just do NOT use hot water otherwise it could shatter.
Been doing it for 20 years, never had an issue.
if you cant put your finger in its too hot
You have to put your finger in it to find out
If you can’t put your finger in, it is frozen.
Not hot water full stop! Cold from tap still works.
You’ve been very lucky Dan. Just think for a moment warm water can create a shock to frozen screens also cold water as by its very consistancy its water that as a liquid its hotter than frozen again this can cause a thermal shock. I would discourage this practice as should your screen go bang your insurance will not cover you for replacement, unless one is economical with the truth.
I am not so publicly spirited. The glass is not that likely to shatter if water is cool enough but it gives me great pleasure knowing dummies cannot make the roads less safe because they’ve frozen their cars shut by pouring water on them.
Also been using water for 20+ years – so has my brother and he used to teach science/physics.
… and then you leave an ice patch for the next car along.
how much water are you using??????
last winter I suffered from a cracked windscreen just by driving into a colder valley, warm water especially if the screen is chipped is likely to cause it to crack
Only if it’s Chipped.
I’ve been doing it for years and years. Basically, if the water is body temp, it is like putting your hand on the windscreen. It will NEVER crack. But it clears it instantly.
Dan’s been doing it for 20 years, I’ve been doing that for 53 years & never had a problem. He did actually say luke warm water & not warm water.
Same here. It doesn’t even need to be warm.
Make sure you get the wipers going straight away to remove excess water and stop it re freezing also have the wind
screen demister running
You don’t even have to risk your wipers, I use a California blade, you know the ones the car cleaners use to remove excess Water?
Now how many will try to follow your instructions and boil the kettle..
We’ve been doing the same for nearly 40 years without mishap! I think screens are pretty tough glass….
What if laminated glass rather than tempered [ toughened ] lam will crack
It won’t crack if it is not already damages, or you can use the Hair dryer if your worried, works the same as the Demister. Also in defence of those using hot Water, my car has a water heater the same as in Scandinavia, in the water bottle and the jets.
I have been using very hot water for 30+ years, never had a problem, with various cars. My hot water being about 50C out of the hot tap. Too hot fo rthe finger test.
Bear in mind that when you have your heater on inside, blowing onto the bottom of the screen, with -20C outside, the screen survives OK.
Another benefit of hot water is that it melts the condensation on the inside of the windscreen.
Not sure we often see temps as low as -20C in Blighty. Have been using hand-warm water for many years, never had a problem.
Quite agree, have used hot water all my driving life, if any water left I top up the bird bath.
What nobody seems to realise is, that by using de-icer you actually make the windscreen colder.
To turn ice into a liquid requires latent heat which will have to come from the windscreen and the air, think about how long ice takes to melt, well that’s the physics. If you use warm/ hot water the screen is warm QED.
You don’t need all this scientific discussion about merits of hot, luke warm or cold water and leaving water on floor to freeze. Do as I’ve done, buy a Ford with a heated windscreen – simples! Cleared in less than two minutes, with the air blower on the inside too.
Last Ford we had, the screen heater kept packing up and they don’t clear the side screens! Or don’t you bother/
Yep Deicer contains Alcohol, ever had an injection and the cold feeling from the spirit they clean your arm with?
Not sure about your hot water temp. I think it has to be=e above 55 C to kill all the bugs in the water….worth checking…..better still ….i see you are a Brexiteer!!!!……dont bother…lol
Warm water is better than de-icer spray. If you have ever used de-icer spray you will know that you get much worse freezing condensation from your breath on the inside of the screen.
That is because de-icer spray works like salt on ice – it melts it by creating a solution with a lower freezing temperature than water. Unfortunately to turn melt ice you have to get heat from somewhere. The only way it gets heat is to draw it from the surroundings including the windscreen. Doing that drops the temperature of the screen. (An endothermic reaction for the scientifically minded). So you still have to wait for the car to warm up to clear the inside frozen condensation!
Do environmentalists go green and pee on it?
What a load of waffle
The possibility of hot water shattering the screen might have been true 70 years ago but hasn’t been true for a very long time. I use a kettle full of boiling water and this keeps the inside of the screens from misting up too. My wife was a glass artist and extremely knowledgeable about glass – using glass that “can’t be reused” in her artwork (fired in her kilns to up to 850C). She had an MA in it! We’ve done this in Denmark with the temperature at -20C!
It has *NEVER* damaged any glass in our cars.
Been using water for 50 years, on a frosty morning cold water works ok, but never use water if there’s a chip or a small crack in the screen
Proper winter tyres.
Summer tyres aren’t worth a damn in snow, so at a minimum, some decent all weather tyres are a good investment. If you have to be out in it, may as well maximise your chances of making it home.
Also worth thinking about, get to a camping store and pick up a self heating ration pack. My local place sells an all day breakfast pack for around £6. Shelf life is several years, and it only requires a dribble of water to start the heater. 10 mins later, you have a warm meal. I use them for camping and fishing, but there’s always a spare in my car.
I always carry a set of rugged jump leads and a high vis vest – in some EU countries the latter is compulsory. If I break down I want to be seen and avoided!
Wear one in France at the moment and you could get arrested or tear gassed! 🙂
It’s funny as its law to carry enough viz vests for the occupence. Which made is very easy to start the yellow vest movement.
Put a short hose from the exhaust to reach the windscreen. It covers all of the car and gets the job done in no time.
Hope you mean outside the car unless you want to go cherry red in colour in the morgue.
Also, I would not recommend using this practice with a diesel engine, the pollutants would soon smear the glass.
I have used warm water for many years with no broken windscreens. Don’t forget to put the wipers on as soon as they are unfrozen, otherwise the screen will re-freeze. If internal misting is a problem, several bottles of increasing temperature will warm the inside of the screen and enable the demister to work. Gentle warming and increasing the temperature in stages, of a previously frozen screen won’t stress the glass.
As your driving through freezing cold air, with hot air at about 80 degrees blasting onto the inside of the screen, your windscreen doesn’t shatter!
I just lie in bed till frost clears – benefit of being retired 🙂
That is nICE just rub the salt in..
That’s an idea. I never thought of trying salt on the windscreen rather than scraping
Bad for the paint.
So is rock salt on the roads.
They use sand and Salt these days, that’s why it disperses so quickly.
It’ll work but your wipers will suffer.
I just use a 5 litre old screenwash bottle with Luke warm water. Always worked for me, just remember to have your wipers on intermittent wipe so it doesn’t re freeze. I go around all the windows on a C4 Picasso and completely clears the big front windscreen easily. I have seen others who cover the windshield with a plastic sheet, but always found the water does the job. Anybody know of any other ways to get your screens cleared, besides parking your car in a garage overnight obviously.
Totally agree. I just turn over and go back to sleep.
Move Over 😘
I carry four squares of old carpet in the boot to place under wheels if caught in snow or ice
That’s good but once you are moving you have to stop to pick them up or are they tied to the rear bumper so you don’t have to stop
With regard to running your car to clean the windows being an offence. How would a disabled person who is unable to physically clear the windows get on.
If they are that disabled – maybe they should stay at home ?
Disabled people often work or need to go on necessary journeys.
They could sit in the car. Let’s face it, they are hardly likely to be rushing about. Maybe pop back indoors for a quick one
Some disabled drivers are more sensible and better drivers than able bodied drivers who think it is good to critise others more unfortunate than themselves
Not drive or get somebody’s else to do it. It’s not f****ng rocket science
R Sole, You chose an appropriate name I see
If someone can’t help. You don’t always have to use a spray de-icer to defrost the windscreen and you can always extend the length of the ice scrapper to be able to reach. Or you could just wait for blowers to heat the car. Some new cars you don’t have to be near the car for the air conditioning to work as you can control it from an app.
Buy a Ford with heated front and rear screens. Saves all the trouble…
They should be standard on ALL cars Bob
Buy a Ford as they have the patent on Quick Clear heated front screens. It is brilliant and as its name suggests it is quick. If you clear your screen manually then try to clear the debris with your wipers any ice residual will damage the edge of the blades.
Portholing is not defined in the dictionary I refer to in conversation with with the vicar round for tea. But it is at Urban Dictionary. Potholing is a disgusting practice and really should carry a more severe penalty while operating a vehicle.
I’d never take my car potholing. Could be a challenge getting it out again. 😉
You should try the potholes in some of the roads round our way! Big enough to sink a lorry!! 🙄
Ok, I do start the car so that the heater can go on to defrosting/demisting the windscreen and the rear window heater can go on. I never leave it unattended though and spend the few minutes it takes to work scraping ice off the side windows and mirrors.
I do carry a minimal “winter” survival kit all year including a shovel, spare socks, proper walking boots and coat, torch, triangle, hi-vis waistcoat, water, road map, phone and charger (very useful those portable chargers) etc. I needed to use it a couple of times when driving over the Peak district to work. The shovel (a small one, left over from the days of a Parkray heating system) has been very handy for digging away snow.
These days I see snow and decide that my journey isn’t that necessary. Being retired gives me that luxury although, for the last few years at work, we were able to work from home, especially when there was bad weather.
My main tip for driving in snow: leave a really good distance between you and the car in front. You cannot second guess what the driver may be about to do. In fact, never, ever tailgate – especially in those conditions. Tailgating in snowy conditions is the main reason I won’t go out unless utterly essential.
In winter conditions it’s always a good idea to keep a reasonable amount of fuel in your tank. Two main reasons: 1. If your petrol cap is frozen when you are out of fuel you are in trouble. 2 If your car is stopped or diverted in bad weather you need to burn more fuel, to keep warm or complete your longer journey.
I leave a bag of outdoor clothing including a hat and boots in some place I can access it from inside the car.
Keep a reflective blanket inside your glovebox.
Whenever the word ‘must’ appears in the Highway Code it is backed up by legislation which can if contravened lead to prosecution.
In relation to the current topic bear in mind that ‘all ‘ glass is to be kept clear and afford a view through it. Whether an officer is available to enforce is irrelevant because driving a motor vehicle on a road is a discipline (which some motorists appear not to practice – you’ve all seen them) and it behoves us all to drive in accordance with the law insofar as is humanly possible, notwithstanding the fact that sometimes even the most disciplined of driver can fall victim to a minor lapse of concentration. I would venture to suggest porthole ‘ing can never be the result of such a lapse and could be considered dangerous driving, which of course carries a heavier penalty, including disqualification.
I agree. There’s too much of the “I don’t have to do it as I won’t get caught” attitude, without regard as to WHY it’s the law.
It’s like driving off with loads of snow on the roof – I’ve had huge sheets come flying at me as a portholing idiots shoot past.
Clarity of vision has not been empirically defined so is most unlikely to be prosecuted under a statute in a summary hearing.
So much reference to “The Highway Code” which is just a Code not a Law. So many things would be resolved if roads were used for travelling on and not a place to park ones car. Planners should take parking in to consideration before granting permission to build or extend property. Schools should be policed just prior to and just after their hours to prevent drop off/pick up congestion.
Fines punish but do not prevent offences being committed, so another form of action should be found.
Sorry but much of the Highway Code is law.
Anything in the Highway Code that says “must” is law. You can be prosecuted for not following those instructions. Planning changes are great for new builds but there are a huge number of houses/streets where there is no off street parking because they were built before most households had cars, and then you have the plans that deliberately restricted parking to “encourage” people to use public transport (doesn’t work especially without ensuring plenty of suitable public transport). Our local schools are policed at drop off/pick up time to prevent anti-social parking – there’s no law that will stop the congestion though.
As for fines they are both a punishment and a deterrent. The idea is that the threat of a fine will discourage you from doing it. They need to be large enough to work but not so large as to be unreasonable when compared to those for other offences.
Police clamping down. You have to be joking. There are no Police to clamp down on this or almost anything else.
When was anyone ever fined for not clearing a windscreen properly?
The “fact” that few, if any, drivers have been stopped/fined for not fully clearing their windscreens doesn’t mean that the rules about it is fake news. Always best to be aware of this sensible safety info, for you and other road users. Same applies to having all sorts of items stuck to the viewable area of windscreens, like sat/navs and phones. There are specific rules/laws about that but few bother following them or even know about them and I’ve never heard of police enforcing them Also not fake.
It’s not so much about being caught but preventing an accident would you drive a car with blinkers on? It’s dangerous enough driving in icy conditions let alone if you can’t see where your going.
Don’t worry, the cops can’t find their backsides with both hands.
Totally agree with Peter Francis, hardly ever see a police car nowadays, I’ve been up & down the M5 to Torquay lately & haven’t even seen a motorway patrol car
It may be because your windows are steamed up?
Most are unmarked so you wouldn’t even know unless you were being pulled.
The easy answer is do what I do, Put your car in the garage.
Can’t. It’s full of junk.
My house isn’t even on a road. Never mind having a garage, I’d be happy with a bit of road to park on. Thou I’d never move from where I am. A garage would be great.
With new frameless windows, the glass freezing to the door seal can, in extreme cases, break the glass as it flexes beyond its limit. A silicon based lubricant usually helps (I’ve used it on several cars for years and never had an issue). One I use is in a bottle with a foam applicator called Gummi Phlege and easy to reapply.
I always had problems in the frost and snow with my MINI. The frameless windows would try and drop then move slightly outwards when you unlocked the door. That’s before even trying to open it.
Lubricating them at the top certainly helped, along with some warm water.
Fortunately I had a heated windscreen, but the warm water certainly helps keep the other windows from misting up when you drive off.
2 litre bottle of warm water in the morning chucked over all the windows, done.
Perpetuating the myth that driving offenders are hardened criminals who need dealing with lets the Police off dealing with real, serious, destructive, frightening and violent crime in favour of soft targets – motorists. Articles like this play to the weak and lazy coppers’ agenda.
I’m not sure that an article creates a stimulus for slack policing but I know what you mean. Unfortunately people driving badly, dangerously, without decent eyesight, without being able to actually see the road/traffic/pedestrians etc etc IS potentially real, destructive and frightening. It’s always bemused me how some people seem comfortable driving on motorways with their rear window completely under four inches of snow (it just shows how often they use their mirrors).
If you notice lorries and a lot of vans don’t have the means to see out of internal mirrors but all car must have 2 side mirrors to have a test certificate so whats the problem if they are clean?
It is now an offense to drive with snow on the bonnet&roof
…just get yourself a centrally heated garage, honestly what’s the matter with you all !
Heated front screen? Thanks Ford 🙂
Has anyone any idea why modern car windscreens mist up so readily necessitating the use of the boosted demist blower to clear the front and side screens at r intervals?
Air conditioning can often be to blame. It condenses the water out of the air but this can be left in hoses, so when you turn it on again the water evaporates and mists up the windows.
If you use the air-con ALL the time it seems to combat this – but is wasteful!
It’s not the modern car causing the misting it’s probably got dampness inside the car from wet shoes wet coats etc. My car never mists up inside even though it’s not garaged. Plus never wipe the fogging on the inside of your car windscreen with your hand or even a gloved hand just let it demist using the heater
I clean my glass with ammonia and apart from being the most effective cleaning agent I know in reducing smears, it also greatly reduces formation of condensation on the interior glass.
The action of leaving a vehicle running on a public road when there is no driver present is known as “quitting”.This is an offence and can be dealt with by Police.
Sadly I know from experience what the effect “Portholing” can have . A motorcyclist was hit and sadly died a few years ago when a driver couldn’t be bothered to clear his screen properly. It only takes a few minutes to do it properly.
I think just a little while ago a lady got jailed for killing her neighbour because she drove off in her car and never cleared the screen first
If you have got an ex-police car (or similar utility vehicle) with Runlock, you can start the car and leave it running quite safely and know that it cannot be stolen. Any attempt to enter or move the vehicle kills engine.
Ex (traffic & ARV) police cars (Volvo, BMW, Vauxhall, Mercedes, Ford etc) generally have runlock, which allows the ignition-key to be taken out after starting so that the vehicle can be locked and left running. Original purpose of this was to allow “light-bar” and other lights and accessories to be left on for extended periods without the vehicle battery going flat because the vehicle engine was still running.
Not certain if its been mentioned but always turn your wipers in the off position when you stop your engine while leaving your motor overnight, otherwise when you turn the ignition on the wiper motor will move the wipers and hey presto ripped wiper rubbers that have stuck to the iced screen
Many years ago, I bought a large plastic sheet with a hook in each corner. if the forecast threatens frost then the cover goes on. It keeps most of the frost away from the windows.
Down sides are the damp cover (I used to hand it on the washing line at a previous home), frost not occurring (an inconvenience) and a not covering when a frost arrived unexpectedly. Generally speaking, it has served me well for about 15 years.
A van has no rear side or rear windows, what windows do you need to clear in a car to comply with the law
The remaining windows ?
maybe the one at the front?
Just use a bucket of hot tap water works every time, can’t understand why more people don’t do it! (and B4 someone answers it might crack your windscreen, I have been doing it 40 years, I think this might have been the case on classic cars with single skin/non-laminated glass) – anyhow I’m off and driving in a minute whilst all my neighbours are still scraping their windscreens and windows with their engines left running
I have a heated front window – works a treat. While the front and rear are clearing there is just enough time to scrape the side windows
I just sit in the car for 3-5 mins and then all the glass all round is clear.
It’s amazing how quick heated screens and defrost blowers work on modern cars, I don’t even have to buy de-icer.
I have a tool in the boot which is a pole with a brush one end and a scraper the other for removing snow.
A flask of hot drink and water should be in the winter survival kit
How would keep it warm? Or do you take a fresh one put each day? Or just the days your going to break down? 😋
The easiest way to ‘remove’ ice from windscreen, is not to let it occur in the first place. Use stiff plastic sheet or flattened cardboard box. peel it away and use the next night. Even an old sheet or blanket, kept in place by the front doors jamming it.
What about the cars with defective lights
I know many people don’t rate windscreen heaters powered by the 12v socket, but mine works well in conjunction with the demister on full blast. What works even better is a caravan hairdryer. I start the car, put everything on full power, plug in the hairdryer and all is clear in about five minutes depending on the severity of the frost. The hairdryer also clears the misting pretty quickly. Alternatively, throw an old blanket or sheet over the screen overnight and get the demister on quick in the morning. This also prevents refreezing with the ‘warm water’ method.
No stop criminalising motorists it’s just a way of earning money for local council enough is enough let’s stand up and fight stop the easy target of motorists.
In winter weather allow more time for the slower traffic, and significantly more time for a journey if it is snowing. Far too many people out there are totally incompetent, and out of their depth, when it comes to driving in the snow.
Also driving with fog lamps on when it is not foggy is an offence.
Motorcyclists: Please don’t drive with your full beam on. Headlamps on by all means, but not on full beam… No matter what time of the day
When you have finished either scrapping or squirting your screen and its clear, off you go then you start getting that salt haze on your screen, tell me TRUTHFULLY, how many of you go into auto pilot and press your screen washers to clear the screen and immediately kick yourself as you know it will freeze on your screen, and you end up having to pull over to re scrape your screen.
Its so annoying,
I tried one of those silver screen covers, magnetic, next morning it was on my neighbour’s drive, Mmmm so I tried the one with suction caps on that lasted about a week before it disappeared never to be seen again, clearly they can’t cope with any kind of wind. but the suction one did work whilst it lasted, completely clear screen.
So its back to the scraper.
Is there any aspect of owning or driving a car that is not illegal in this day and age?
Avoid the frost entirely , Park it in The Algarve Portugal 🙂
So basically no matter what you do in this country you get fined for it by the Revenue Collectors… When we pay TAX on everything and even TWICE on FUEL!!!
Bout time the people of this country stopped allowing them to have a foot on your neck and stand up and tell this TYRANICAL Government enough is enough and remove all those political parasites and form a republic.
The last thing we need is a political rant, typically from someone hiding behind a silly user name.
Err, France is a republic and look at their problems, and America has a republican in charge with trump the chump, I’ll have to have a good think about this republic idea.
For 30 years I have used warm water to clear ice on the windscreen, side windows and mirrors. I fill a 2 litre soft drinks bottle, bring it to the car, start the engine, clear all the glass. It also warms the glass so stops refreezing or misting. By 3 minutes the heater has warmed and I drive off. I’ve never had any problem at all.
If I know its going to be icy overnight and I’m using the car next morning, I put an old pair of socks over the windscreen wipers and it prevents them from sticking to the icy window and the risk ripping your blades off.
How large should a porthole be? Surely it should be OK to clear to the limit of the wipers. If that is the area cleared by the wipers then that is the minimum area through which a driver is expected to see. The alternative would be (when snowing or raining heavily) for a driver to get out and clear a wider area from time-to-time – and this isn’t particularly safe.