Snow Piles Create Hazard for Plow Drivers
Mankato, Minn.-- As snow builds up, residents work tirelessly to clear their walkways.
However, MnDOT warns homeowners to be mindful of snow plows.
"When pushing snow use caution not to pile the snow up at the intersections or around the radius of your driveways," said Chase Fester, MnDOT District 7 maintenance superintendent.
It is illegal to dump snow on or next to a public highway or street.
Failure to keep piles far enough off the road can mean disaster for plow drivers.
"The worst thing that can happen to a plow driver is that we make contact with that big pile of snow and we break equipment," Fester said.
Plow drivers have veered into ditches or oncoming traffic to avoid hitting the snow drifts.
Not just snow removal crew, drivers and pedestrians face issues with drifting, seeing oncoming traffic at intersections and even walking.
"If the traveling public is out there and they end up running into one of these drifts or piles of snow, that causes a major safety issue for that person as well as any legal ramifications," said Fester.
While violations are a misdemeanor, you could face civil penalties if a snow pile causes a vehicle or pedestrian crash.
Fester encourages the public to report snow drifts obstructing sight at intersections.
Workers have also noticed other dangers on the road.
"A big thing that we've seen in the last couple of events is people driving around without their headlights on," said Fester.
He warns commuters to not trust their automatic headlights in winter weather.
He assures the public that the snow removal crew follows the weather closely before a snowfall. They start work right before snow starts falling and keep going until or after snowfall ends.
"You may not see a plow. A plow might be behind you. It might be ahead of you," Fester said. "That doesn't mean we aren't out there trying to keep those roads clear and safe."
--KEYC News 12.