County highway dept. reminds public of snow removal rules

Published 11:48 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Freeborn County Highway Department cautions property owners against dumping snow on public roadways and offers tips for clearing driveway entrances.

County Engineer Sue Miller would like to remind everyone, including commercial snow removal operators, that it is against state law to deposit snow onto a public roadway. Dumping or plowing snow onto a roadway can create a slippery area or frozen rut or bump, which has the potential to contribute to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash.

Minnesota Statute 160.27 prohibits the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots onto public roadways, which can include the ditch and right-of-way in certain situations.

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The public is cautioned that violations are misdemeanors and civil liability can extend to both the property owner and the person or company who placed the snow improperly.

To determine the proper placement of snow and minimize your inconvenience when a snowplow comes along after you’ve cleared your driveway, it is recommended to place as much snow as possible from the end of your driveway downstream in the direction of traffic. Next is to clear an area upstream from your driveway to form an open pocket.

According to a press release, the result is that much of the snow pushed by the plow truck will empty into this pocket and less will wind up in your driveway entrance. The pocket does need to be maintained throughout the winter.

The Freeborn County Highway Department cautions anyone working close to a roadway to watch for oncoming traffic and warns drivers to be alert to people clearing snow.

For statewide up-to-date traveler information, Minnesotans can access weather-related road conditions, construction and congestion, by calling 511 or visiting