The Shocking Case of the Porthole Peeper

Porthole Car in Snow

“I was in a hurry.”

That was the excuse a Vancouver Island driver gave when one of our CVSE officers stopped him on the Malahat for driving with a mere “porthole” of snow cleared from his windshield. The officer issued the driver a $368 fine and didn’t let him continue driving without clearing all the snow off his vehicle.

When we tweeted the photo, many of you were shocked:

Twitter Response t2 t3

What’s worse, this isn’t just a one-off occurrence. Surrey RCMP tweeted a photo of a vehicle they pulled over recently looking much the same.

In early December 2021, we spotted a vehicle on our webcam in Courtenay, where a driver stopped right on the highway, to brush off view-obscuring snow they should have cleared off before they hit the road (image below).

Why you need to clear ALL snow from your vehicle BEFORE hitting the road.

Completely clearing your vehicle of snow before setting out is a fundamental part of winter driving safety. It’s right up there with driving to conditions and using proper tires. Not only do you need unobscured lines of sight in front, behind and beside you, but a cleared vehicle means you won’t be putting other drivers at risk due to snow and ice flying off your vehicle.

And it only takes a couple minutes and a bit of elbow grease. Watch:

So, please don’t put yourself and others at serious risk by being a “porthole peeper.” We all have busy lives, but there is never a good reason to not clear all the snow off your vehicle before driving.

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Page 1 of 6 comments on “The Shocking Case of the Porthole Peeper”

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  1. Whoever got stopped and issued that ticket should complain to the CVSE manager. Those guy’s aren’t allowed to stop cars and if management found out that guy would be up shit creek.

    • Your response to this post is that you’re worried about a CVSE officer pulling over the driver because he’s “not allowed.” You aren’t glad he pulled a dangerous driver off the road? Get your priorities straight pal.

      Great work CVSE, thanks for doing your part to keeping our roads safer.

    • Actually I’m fairly certain being Peace Officers and they are tasked with keeping the roads safe that CVSE officers ARE allowed to pull over private passenger vehicles if they see a valid safely issue with said vehicles. They are doing their jobs pure and simple keeping the roads safe.

    • Hi again, Bob. Apologies for the late reply. We thought the response had been posted back in February and just notice now that it was not. CVSE has legal authority to stop any vehicle in BC. Through policy, we limit our interactions with private vehicles to those with a serious safety issue. The vehicle featured in this story had a serious safety issue.

    • As a commercial driver I see this all too often and it is a little disturbing to me, that fis person is more concerned about the legalities of a CVSE Peace officer pulling over and citing this driver than he is about how dangerous this is. And by the way, the CVSE can pull over any vehicle on any BC highway. He should’ve thrown the book at him.