Ballarat’s icy start resulted in a costly morning for one motorist who was fined $381 and handed three demerit points for driving with a foggy windscreen.
Police allege the man was driving with his head out the side window as he passed them on Grant Street, near Sovereign Hill.
The man, who had driven from Mount Clear and was heading to work in central Ballarat when he was pulled over about 8am, said he wouldn’t have driven if he felt unsafe.
“It was foggy, but it’s been a lot foggier. I had the windscreen wipers and water jets going as well,” the man said.
“$381 and three demerit points seems overly steep … but let’s be honest if you have lived in Ballarat and drive to work nearly everyone in town would have done it before.”
Ballarat Highway Patrol’s Sgt Ross Humphries said there was no excuse for drivers putting themselves and other road users at risk.
The man was fined for careless driving, and there is also a specific offence of failing to have a clear view of the road and traffic behind and on each side of the driver which carries a $238 fine.
With further fog and frost a certainty over a Ballarat winter, Sgt Humphries warned motorists to ensure they had a clear windscreen before leaving home.
READ MORE: Ballarat’s black ice map
“If the windscreen is foggy or misty in the morning, spend a couple of minutes to turn on the heater and fan and make sure it’s clear before you head off on your journey,” he said.
“It’s common sense if you can’t see through the windscreen you shouldn’t be driving the car. You’re only going to put yourself and other road users in a dangerous situation or cause a collision.”
Sgt Humphries also warned motorists of another poorly-understood road rule.
“It’s an offence not to have headlights on in hazardous weather such as fog and heavy rain. We get quite a few cars driving in fog and heavy rain, dark coloured cars which makes it difficult to see them.”