ST. CLOUD, MN – The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds the public that it is unlawful to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street.
“Snow improperly placed on or near a public road creates hazards including sight obstruction and unsafe access,” said Jamie Hukriede, MnDOT District 3 Maintenance Engineer. “Snow piled too high also becomes a hazard. Special attention should be given to keep snow piles far enough from the road and low enough that drifts don’t encroach the roadway.”
Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow on to 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, bump or “ramp” 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.
MnDOT maintenance crews plow and maintain about 12,000 miles of state highways and interstates in Minnesota.