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Old 03-03-2003, 04:57 AM
seville009 seville009 is online now
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NYS Plowing Law

Interesting article about NYS law that protects plow drivers from
damage claims.....


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Law protects municipal snowplows

March 02, 2003

By David L. Shaw
Staff writer

Getting into an accident with a snowplow is bad enough - it's what happens after the crash that's been a shock for Central New York drivers this winter.

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Even if the accident isn't their fault, they have to pick up the tab for repairs.

A recent, and little-known, state regulation says operators of municipally owned emergency equipment, working under hazardous conditions, are not liable for damages unless they show "reckless disregard for the safety of others."

Section 1103b of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law exempts hazardous vehicles, such as snowplows, from the rules of the road as long as they're operated in a designated work area and the operator is not driving recklessly.

Madison County Highway Superintendent Joseph M. Slivinski said he doubts many motorists are aware of the law. He supports the concept, noting emergency vehicle operators operate under hazardous situations.

"If they operate with proper lights, signs and warning devices in a safe manner and are not showing a reckless disregard for safety, they should get that protection from liability," Slivinski said.

"We've had accidents in the past, but even with the heavy snow this year, we haven't had but a few minor accidents. None involved injuries," Slivinski said.

Edward J. Izyk, Oswego city attorney, said there have been few accidents with city plows this winter. He said such accidents are referred to the city's insurance carrier and their lawyers.

"It's not something I get involved in much, but I understand there was a law passed recently that sets liability for plow operators and other much higher than for ordinary motorists," Izyk said.

© 2003 The Post-Standard. Used with permission.


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Old 03-03-2003, 09:04 AM
Got Grass? Got Grass? is offline
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Location: Western New York
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It doesn't mean that plow operators can go thru lights, stop signs, speed or anything to that effect. Simply that they can park where they want, use multiple lanes, make u-turns, drive on the shoulder, leave material on the road, exceed weight & size requirements, etc...

Pretty much normal operations of a plow driver.
if the plow is speeding, goes thru a light etc... They will be held responsible.

But are exempt for responsibility when the idiot tries to pass them & smacks into the wing hanging off the plow. or doesn't see the plow blocking the road & smacks into them. When they are running tandem & all turn at the intersection from multiple lanes.

Last edited by Got Grass?; 03-03-2003 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 03-03-2003, 09:15 AM
Got Grass? Got Grass? is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Western New York
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When a state of emergency & driving ban has been declared the rules all change for normal drivers. Private plow / tow truck operators are not considered "emergency vehicles" so technically they can ticket us for being out on the roads unless we are contracted to the govt. I have seen it happen.
Also when a driving ban is in effect making it illegal to drive you not only setting yourself up for a ticket but complete liability in an accident. If you read your insurance policy closely it will tell you it will not cover you when you are driving illegally. There for when you are out during a driving ban & back up into that parked car, go off into a ditch or smack a telephone pole it's coming outta your pocket & not your insurance man's.

Last edited by Got Grass?; 03-03-2003 at 09:26 AM.
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