The big snowstorm that kicked off the week has finally ended and now Northland residents are faced with clearing all the fresh snow, which an even bigger pain due to the current cold temperatures.

While different parts of the area experienced differing amounts of accumulation, removing the snow is a task that almost all of us have in common. Personally, I went out a couple times throughout the storm just to keep up, but I know others who just wait until it's all done before they deal with it.

With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to remind everyone that it is illegal to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street. They are also asking for the publics help in keeping the roads clear for everyone’s safety.

“Placing snow on or near a public road creates hazards, including drainage problems, drifting, sight obstruction and unsafe access,” said Jamie Hukriede, assistant district engineer of maintenance for MnDOT District 3. “Please keep crosswalks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed.”

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

What happens if someone is caught violating these ordinances? 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.

So, rather than roll the dice on getting caught and, even worse, being responsible for a crash that could cause damage and even injuries, keep the snow free and clear from Northland roads.

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