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MnDOT: Be mindful about snow removal laws

Published 10:11am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

With a lot of snow potentially on the way, The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants people to remember it is illegal to deposit snow on or next to public roadways.

“Improperly placing snow on a public road creates hazards including drainage problems, drifting, sight obstruction and unsafe access,” said Craig Gertsema, District 8 maintenance superintendent. “Special attention should be made to keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.”

Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing snow onto public roads. This includes the ditch and right of way area along the roads.

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

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