Mn/DOT offers tips to clear driveway entrances
The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to remind local residents, including commercial snow removal operators, that it is against state law to deposit snow onto a public roadway.
Minnesota state law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or placing of snow from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots onto public roadways. This includes ditches, roadsides and boulevards. Violations are misdemeanors and liability can extend to both the property owner and the person or company who placed the snow improperly.
Depositing snow on a road can create a slippery area, frozen rut, or bump that could contribute to vehicle or pedestrian accidents. Other hazards created by the improper placement of snow on or near a public roadway include drainage problems, drifting, sight obstruction and safe accessibility. Special attention should be made to keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.
When a snowplow comes along after driveways are cleared, place as much snow as possible from the end of the driveway downstream in the direction of traffic and clear an area upstream from the driveway to create an open "pocket."
Much of the snow pushed by the plow truck will empty into this pocket and less will wind up in the driveway entrance. The pocket needs to be maintained to be effective throughout the winter.
A diagram of the driveway clearing technique is available at www.dot.state.mn.us/workzone/driveways.html.
Mn/DOT officials caution anyone working close to a roadway to watch for oncoming traffic and warns drivers to be alert to people clearing snow.
For more information on safe winter driving, go to www.winterweather.state.mn.us/. Mn/DOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.mndot.gov. Real time traffic information is available at www.511mn.org, or by dialing 5-1-1.