(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by Wright County.)
The Wright County Highway Department would like to remind Wright County citizens of the hazards and liabilities of pushing snow from driveways onto any public highway. The snow, which may be left on the roadway or piles of snow left on the side of the road, can create real hazards not only for motorists but also for snow removal crews and equipment. In the past, snowplows have been damaged when hitting compacted and frozen snow deposited on or next to the County Highways.
Minnesota Statutes (160.27, Subdivision 5) prohibits plowing, shoveling, blowing or in any way depositing snow on any public highway. The violation is punishable as a misdemeanor. In addition, the property owner and/or person dumping the snow could be liable should a civil lawsuit result.
Snowplow Safety Tips
Make sure to educate children on the dangers of snow removal and make sure they play safely!
Please remind them to:
• Never build tunnels or snow forts in the snowbanks near the street. The force and weight of the snow coming off the plows can collapse the tunnels or forts and harm/or bury the child.
• Keep sleds and toys out of the street and away from the edge of the road. Snowbanks can make it hard for plow drivers to see children playing in these areas.
Five Tips for Sharing the Road with Snowplow Drivers:
• Start to slow down as soon as you see the snowplow and stay at least five car lengths (70 feet) back.
• Don’t stop too close.
• Give the snowplow room to work.
• Take extreme caution when passing.
• Permit the plow extra room in high-risk areas.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. Contact: Nate Helgeson, Highway Maintenance Superintendent, (763) 682-7374.