Berrien Traffic Safety Supervisor Warns Snow Removal Businesses and All of Us

If you are a snow removal contractor, small business operator who moves snow from private parking lots, commercial driveways and the like…or even a citizen clearing your own driveway, Berrien County Road Department Traffic Safety Supervisor Michael Juengling has a message for you — you can’t push snow across a roadway to the opposite side in such a way as to block or inhibit traffic there. It is illegal.

Here’s what Juengling’s message issued this morning says:

“Once again, it’s that time of the year when we begin receiving calls about citizens and snow removal businesses pushing snow across roadways.  It is illegal (see MCL Section 257.677a) to remove or deposit snow across public roads or place snow that could block a driver’s line of sight when traveling, entering or exiting a roadway.  Snow deposited on roadway shoulders can freeze solid and damage snow plows.”

Here is the Michigan Vehicle Code excerpt that Juengling refers to in his message as provided by the Michigan Legislature:

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MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 300 of 1949

257.677a Obstruction of safety vision by removal or deposit of snow, ice, or slush prohibited.

Sec. 677a.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Person” shall not include the state or a political subdivision of the state or an employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state operating within the scope of his duties.

(b) “Safety vision” means an unobstructed line of sight enabling a driver to travel upon, enter, or exit a roadway in a safe manner.

(2) A person shall not remove, or cause to be removed, snow, ice, or slush onto or across a roadway or the shoulder of the roadway in a manner which obstructs the safety vision of the driver of a motor vehicle other than off-road vehicles.

(3) A person shall not deposit, or cause to be deposited, snow, ice, or slush onto or across a roadway or the shoulder of the roadway in a manner which obstructs the safety vision of the driver of a motor vehicle.

(4) A person shall not deposit, or cause to be deposited, snow, ice or slush on any roadway or highway.

So…now you know, and with snow in the forecast again over the next couple of days, you might want to brush up on what you can and can’t brush aside in a day’s work whether you’re doing it for hire or simply trying to make way for your own driveway to be cleared.