Guest Column: Is it legal to blow snow into the highway?

Published 9:07 am Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ask a Trooper Troy Christianson

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.

Question: Are people allowed to push their leftover snow out onto the highway for the snowplow to move it?

Troy Christianson

Troy Christianson

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Answer: According to Minnesota State Statute 160.2715, “It shall be unlawful to obstruct any highway or deposit snow or ice thereon.”

This law prohibits the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow on to public roads, including the ditch and right-of-way along the roadway. Violations are considered misdemeanors, but civil penalties may also apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard, such as a slippery area or frozen rut or bump, that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. The civil liability may extend to both the property owner and the person who placed the snow.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and of course, drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN, 55901-5848; or reach him at