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Trooper’s Tip: Nipping Jack Frost

“Jack Frost takes his paintbrush and sails across the sky. Every morning as the sun comes up, his artwork greets the eye.”

Many a children’s poem has been written about the imaginary Jack Frost. Imaginary though as Mr. Frost is, the “artwork” of a sub-freezing night is real and is clearly evident on the windows of our cars and trucks most fall and winter mornings as we leave for work.

It’s amazing, though, and kind of scary really, how many drivers fail to take a few moments — about a minute normally — to scrape the frost off windshields and side windows before hitting the road. The sight of a pair of eyeballs peering through a tea saucer-sized hole scraped by fingernails in a frost-encrusted windshield, as the car is hurtling down the road at highway speeds, is at once comical yet disconcerting.

“I don’t own a scraper,” is usually the excuse troopers hear from those we stop for this vision obstruction violation.

Remember, folks, we live in the mountains. Window scrapers are as important here as warm jackets and long underwear, but way cheaper. An adequate scraper only costs a couple of bucks, but is vital in helping you to see the whole road ahead, and the traffic and intersections around you.

At minimum, the law requires you to have a clear view out your entire windshield and front seat side windows. And don’t forget to scrape your outside mirrors, too, for a clear view to the rear.

Keep Jack Frost from nipping at your car’s windows and you’ll not only drive safer, but you’ll keep troopers from nipping at your pocketbooks as well.

Trooper’s Tips is a monthly column from the Colorado State Patrol. Laws may vary from state to state. If you have a question or topic you’d like discussed, please e-mail Trooper Wiersma at