Ask a Trooper: What’s the law behind pushing snow from driveway to street?

Published 5:10 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Question: What is the law in regard to pushing snow from one’s driveway out onto the road?

Answer: It is illegal to place snow from a driveway on or next to a public highway or street. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds everyone, “The placing of snow on or near a public road creates hazards, including drainage problems, drifting, sight obstruction and unsafe access. Keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.”

Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing snow on to public roads or sidewalks. This includes ditches and the right-of-way area along 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.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always 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 Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)