Law prohibits placing snow on roadways

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Freeborn County Highway Department officials remind residents and business and commercial snow removal operators that it is against the law to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street.

State law (Minnesota statute 160.27) and many local ordinances prohibit the placement of snow onto public roadways. This provision can also include the ditch and right-of-way area.

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

Email newsletter signup

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

For questions, contact the Freeborn County Highway Department by phone at 377-5188 or through mail at Freeborn County Highway Department, 3300 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007.