Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Dec. 30, 2022

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MnDOT reminds public it is illegal to push snow onto roads

WILLMAR, Minn. – MnDOT reminds the public that it is illegal to deposit snow on or next to a state highway or street. Placing snow on or near a public road, including the right of way, creates hazards, including drainage problems, drifting, visibility issues and unsafe access.

Minnesota Statute 160.2715 (a) (1) and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling, or otherwise placing of snow on public roads. This includes the ditch and right of way area along 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.

Stay safe this winter

  1. Don’t drive distracted.
  2. Say alert for snowplows which turn or exit frequently and may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
  3. Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow; don’t drive into a snow cloud.
  4. Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
  5. Turn your headlights on (not simply the automatic setting) and wear your seat belt.
  6. Turn off the cruise control.
  7. Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.

Stay informed

  • Sign up for email or text travel alerts at MnDOT's website by clicking “Email and text updates” under the “Connect with us” heading. Choose to receive messages via email or text message. Then, choose the “Southwest MN Travel Alerts” under the “Travel Alerts” category.
  • Join the Southwest Minnesota Facebook group for news, events, and updates.
  • Follow us on Twitter @MnDOTsouthwest for news, events, and updates.