Are You Breaking This Minnesota Law When You’re Shoveling Your Driveway?
Our shovels and snowblowers have been getting a workout this week, as we've had to clean up from several winter snowstorms. But have you been breaking this state law while you're shoveling?
We all know that it's a local ordinance in Rochester that you have 24 hours to clear the snow off the sidewalks near your house, or the city could come and do it for you-- and issue you a fine.
But are you aware there's also a STATE law that some of us might be violating when we're clearing all that snow off our driveways and sidewalks?
"(a) Except for the actions of the road authorities, their agents, employees, contractors, and utilities in carrying out their duties imposed by law or contract, and except as herein provided, it shall be unlawful to:
(1) obstruct any highway or deposit snow or ice thereon and (b) Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor."
Which pretty much means that if you're shoveling all that snow from your driveway BACK into the street, you're violating the law. Similarly, if you've got your snowblower set to blow all that snow from your driveway back into the street, that's ALSO illegal. (I've inadvertently done that a time or two until I realize it and turn the chute the other way-- I hope my neighbors didn't turn me in!)
And, hey, Minnesota isn't kidding around, either-- breaking this law is considered a misdemeanor and could land you 90 days in jail and a fine of $1000! It doesn't say, though, just which law enforcement entity is charged with enforcing this law, though.