On Air

Rick Houghton

How To De-ice Your Windscreen Properly

Drivers could face a fine and be slapped with penalty points for failing to properly clear their windscreens of ice this winter.

With temperatures plummeting, clearing frost, ice or even snow from the front of your car becomes a time-consuming task every morning.

What is illegal about not de-icing your windscreen properly?

In the rush to get to work, plenty will simply clear off just enough ice so that they can see through a tiny portion while leaving the rest obscured.

But any driver caught with just a small window to see through, referred to as "porthole vision", could be subject to harsh penalties from police.

If they can't see through the entire windscreen the car is deemed to be in a "dangerous condition".

What is the penalty if you are caught not de-icing enough of your windscreen?

Anyone caught "portholing" faces a £60 fine.

Worse still you could be hit with three penalty points under the CU20 penalty code, which describes a driver “causing or likely to cause danger by reason of use of unsuitable vehicle in a dangerous condition”.

And if your vehicle condition is classified as "dangerous", you could be fined as much as £2,500 in court and even banned from the road.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “Drivers should avoid becoming tank-commanders and clear the whole of the windscreen and windows before setting off.

“Thoroughly de-icing the car doesn’t take long at all.

"Getting up 10 minutes early and scraping the car will prevent drivers from picking up a fine and points.

“Drivers should also remain with their cars when clearing ice. Leaving the keys in the ignition and popping back inside to finish your cup of tea is a gift car thieves hope for.”


Tips: The best way to de-ice your windscreen

Mix up a solution of water with a teaspoon of salt and pour it over icy areas

A mixture of three parts of vinegar to one part of water will also do the trick

DON'T pour boiling water onto frozen car windows

DON'T use anything other than a car-specific scraper to remove the frost

Prevent windscreen frost by soaking an old towel in a solution made up of water and table salt, or a mix of one part of water and two parts of alcohol, then place it over your car windows the night before