Did you know that incorrectly clearing snow from your driveway or vehicle could lead to hefty fines and jail time? Don’t forget to keep these Minnesota laws in mind the next time it snows!
According to Minnesota Statute 160.2715
, it is illegal to shovel or plow snow onto roads and streets, a tactic sometimes used to clear off sidewalks or driveways. Irregular snow placement on roadways can create driving hazards including drifting and sight obstruction, and if this law is violated it’s considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and 90 days in jail.
Ice or snow-covered vehicles can also be found unlawful if cleared improperly. Ice or snow left on one’s vehicle while driving may be considered an “unsecured load.” The Minnesota Statute 169.81
states that no vehicle shall be driven if it carries a load that is not secure, “as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leading, blowing, or otherwise escaping therefrom.” Ice or snow caught falling or blowing from a vehicle onto the street can furthermore be considered by Minnesota Statute 169.42
as littering, and guilty of a misdemeanor.
Additionally, Minnesota Statute 169.71
requires drivers to clear all frost from both their windshield and side windows to prevent accidents created from obstructed vision on the road.
Counties, cities, and towns may also have their own policies
and ordinances in place for snow emergencies and snow removal. It is important to stay informed of such policies to avoid unwanted tickets—and to stay safe this winter.