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Posted on: January 3, 2022

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: Plowing snow into public right of ways is a crime



PLOWING SNOW INTO PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAYS IS A CRIME

 

The Carlton County Transportation Department would like to remind everyone that the act of plowing snow onto or across a public roadway is a safety hazard and a violation of Minnesota Statute 160.27, subdivision 5, punishable as a misdemeanor.  

 

The likelihood of a traffic accident or damage to snowplow equipment occurring from a slippery area, frozen rut, bump or large bank on the shoulder is a major safety concern.  

 

 The following situations arise from pushing snow onto or across the roadway:

  • Snow equipment moving in and out of traffic increases the possibility of an accident.
  • Snow or ice left on the roadway, even for a short time, can cause a traffic hazard.
  • Snow or ice left on the roadway freezes down, making it difficult to clear the road and creates an additional hazard to motorists and snowplow equipment.
  • The additional snow can fill the areas designed for storing roadway snow, narrowing the roadway.  If this occurs unexpectedly, motorists may have difficulty adjusting to a sudden change and swerve into oncoming traffic.
  • Snow piles freeze or crust over so highway equipment cannot push back the piles. Equipment can be damaged or even pushed into other traffic from contact with these heavy piles.

 

Should an accident occur from any of these situations, the property owner and the person who placed the snow on the roadway could be charged in a civil liability settlement.

 

Snow from private property should be contained within property boundaries as much as possible, thereby avoiding piling or pushing snow into the road right of way. To determine the proper placement of snow for a specific location, you can contact Carlton County Transportation at (218) 384-9150 or email: transportation@co.carlton.mn.us.

 

Please share this information with others you know who may not be informed.  Your help with keeping public roadways safe, including near your property, is greatly appreciated.

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