The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reminds the public that it is illegal to deposit snow on or next to a public highway or street, and it is asking for 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 Craig Gertsema, MnDOT District 8 maintenance superintendent. “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 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 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 plow and maintain about 12,000 miles of state highways and interstates in Minnesota. Crews in southwest Minnesota plow and maintain approximately 3,000 miles of highways.

Each route takes between two and one-half to four or more hours to clear, depending on road and weather conditions.

For tips on safe winter driving, visit www.mndot.gov.

For real-time traffic and travel information, visit www.511mn.org.

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