Two main concerns are when residents and businesses pile snow at the ends of driveways along the highway shoulder; and when snow is pushed across the road, leaving snow or slush on the road surface.
The Michigan Vehicle Code prohibits “the obstruction of safety vision by removal or deposit of snow, ice or slush.” This includes the end of driveways, where banked snow can reduce visibility for vehicles trying to enter the roadway.
“When the snowbanks get higher than your average car, it makes it very difficult for motorists to see other vehicles,” State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said. “Our crews work to keep the shoulders clear for motorist safety, and we need residents and business owners to do the same.”
Leaving a trail of snow on the pavement while plowing across the road also can cause problems. The snow can become packed and create ridges on the road; or, as temperatures change, the area can become icy.
“Careless plowing creates an added hazard to unsuspecting motorists and to road maintenance personnel,” Steudle said.
Local ordinances may require residents and businesses to keep sidewalks clear of snow. This is important for pedestrians and those waiting for a bus.
“Winter can be a difficult time to get around for those on foot, so please take the extra effort to clear your sidewalks and help everyone stay mobile and safe,” Steudle said.