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Snow from private drives should not be left on state highways
Practice is illegal, hazardous
LIMA (January 8, 2014) ODOT is advising residents living on state highways to not leave snow plowed from private driveways on the highways.
 
“Not only is it not advisable to leave snow from your driveway in the middle of the highway, it is against the law,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.
 
Ohio Revised Code 4511.74 prohibits the placement of injurious material on a highway except that which is placed on the roadway by a proper authority, such as the salt or other materials which ODOT uses to treat icy roads.
 
Placing anything on the highway could be dangerous to motorists in that they may hit these obstructions and lose control of their vehicle. “If it is found that snow displaced from a private drive onto a highway contributes to an accident, the individual who placed it there could be found liable,” said Slusher.
 
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the offense is considered a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
 
ODOT advises snow from private drives be pushed completely off the highway. It is recommended that residents place the snow on the far side of their drives so that a passing ODOT plow will not throw the snow back into the driveway, said Slusher.
 
In addition, the department recommends individuals clear snow away from their mailboxes. “Moving snow to the far side of the mailbox may reduce the likelihood that snow thrown from a passing plow will cause damage,” said Slusher.
 
ODOT also reminds parents to keep their children from playing in piles of snow which are close to the road.
 
Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
 
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For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email
D01.PIO@dot.state.oh.us