The Michigan Department of Transportation has released an information reminder today, as Upper Michigan continues to dig out of a snowstorm, about the proper and safe methods of snow removal.
MDOT Fast facts:
– Piling snow at the ends of driveways along highway shoulders and pushing snow across roads can create hazardous conditions.
– Piling or depositing snow that obstructs vision is a violation of Michigan’s Vehicle Code.
– Keeping sidewalks clear is important to help people walk safely and catch the bus.
MDOT officials say two main concerns are when residents and businesses pile snow at the ends of driveways along the highway shoulder, and when snow is pushed across the road, leaving snow or slush on the road surface.
The Michigan Vehicle Code prohibits “the obstruction of safety vision by removal or deposit of snow, ice, or slush.” This includes the end of driveways, where banked snow can reduce visibility for vehicles trying to enter the roadway.
“When the snowbanks get higher than your average car, it makes it very difficult for motorists to see other vehicles,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle “Our crews work to keep the shoulders clear for motorist safety and we need residents and business owners to do the same.”
Leaving a trail of snow on the pavement while plowing across the road also can cause problems. The snow can become packed and create ridges on the road, or, as temperatures change, the area can become icy.
“Careless plowing creates an added hazard to unsuspecting motorists and to road maintenance personnel,” Steudle said.
It also is important to remember that local ordinances may require residents and businesses to keep sidewalks clear of snow. This is important for pedestrians and those waiting for the bus.
“Winter can be a difficult time to get around for those on foot, so please take the extra effort to clear your sidewalks and help everyone stay mobile and safe,” Steudle said.