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MnDOT reminds public not to push or pile snow onto roads

Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow onto public roads or sidewalks.

EP Weather
Wendy Wilson
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DETROIT LAKES — With heavy snowfall in the forecast this week, the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to remind the public that it is illegal to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street, and asks for their help in keeping the roads clear for everyone’s safety.

“Placing snow on or near a public road creates hazards, including drainage, drifting, sight obstruction and unsafe access,” Maintenance Superintendent Kohl Skalin said in a press release. “Please keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.”

Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow onto public roads or sidewalks. 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.

MnDOT maintenance crews in District 4 plow and maintain more than 3,550 miles of state highways in west central Minnesota. Crews are out this week as a winter storm rolls in, so please give them plenty of space to work and remember that it takes time to cleanup the roadways during and after a snow storm.

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For tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html .

For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store .

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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