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Residents advised not to push snow on public roadways

Published 11:41am Friday, January 24, 2014

With the growing number of snow days this winter, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds residents and snow removal operators that it is unlawful to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street.

Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow onto public roadways. This includes the ditch and right of way area along the roadside. According to a news release, pushing snow on public roadways is an increasing issue with each snow storm because snow piles become larger and more difficult to manage throughout the winter months.

Violations are considered misdemeanors, but civil penalties also apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard such as a slippery area, frozen rut or bump that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. The civil liability can extend to both the property owner and the person who placed the snow.

Other hazards created by improper placement of snow on or near a public roadway include drainage problems, drifting, sight obstruction and safe accessibility. Special attention should be made to keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.

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