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A question about pushing snow into the road?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Snow Chain, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Snow Chain

    Snow Chain Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey Guys this is probably a dumb question, but can you be fined or ticketed if you push snow straight out of a driveway on to a road? This would be on a country road and not in town. It seems like that sometimes depending on the place, that there isn't much place to go with the snow after a few times of plowing because of how much is piled up, as well as the fact that some house/driveway combinations are so tight that there is hardly any room to maneuver. I have seen a lot of guys doing this and up until a couple of days ago figured it was a legitimate way to get rid of the excess snow, because one of the big county plows comes by and throws the snow farther into the ditch and field than what a pickup or tractor can. When I mentioned this to my Dad he really got upset about it, and said that I may get ticketed or fined for doing this. I see where he is coming from, but when the snow is this deep and hardly anyone is on the road I personally cant see that it will hurt much. I also should note that I first would try to fill up the ditch right across the road. The amount of snow that I would end up pushing on the road is a rather small amount, and most 4x4 trucks or front wheel drive vehicles really shouldn't have any trouble. The county plows go by on a regular basis lately because of all the drifting and the speed they go with the big V plow, it seems like it doesn't cause them any trouble to pitch it on out in the field.

    Sorry for the long winded post, and thanks in advance for any answers or advice,
  2. BigRedBarn

    BigRedBarn Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    It seems to be one of those things where there is a usually a law against doing it, but it's only enforced when there's an accident that may have been, if only in part, caused by the practice.

    Similar case in point, the owner of the local 4X4 shop got ticketed for not having a yellow caution light (revolving or strobe) on his snowplow truck while plowing. A guy lost control on a curve (while driving in the far lane) while the 4X4 shop guy was backing out into the other lane just a bit to plow. The car hit the snowplow truck. Sure, the snowplow driver didn't cause the accident. He just had the misfortune to not be in compliance with a law when he had an accident.

    I've heard of similar ticketing where someone had an add-on accessory on their car or truck and they were ticketed becuase the accessory "interfered" with their vehicle's operation or their ability to see. Examples would be lens covers, items hanging from the rearview mirror, stickers on the rear window, window tinting that's too dark, and so on.

    Around here, the North-South road we live on gets a lot of drifts that cascade over the snow on the side of the road well into the driving lanes. Sometimes these drifts seem to "suck in" cars as they drive along and hit the drifts, putting the car into the snow pile or the ditch. Maybe snow plowed across the street leaving some "blade spillover" could suck a car in too and send it into the ditch or into opposite lane. Stranger things have happened. And if it did happen, and you had plowed snow across the street right there...

    The first time I plowed snow across the street (where there's an empty field) my stepfather (who lives nextdoor and often plows our driveways for me) told me I could get a ticket for doing it. Guess what? He does it himself from time to time.
  3. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    YUP IT IS I llegal here in NY. But ya gotta do
    what ya gotta do.
    I have a bank drive thru thats at weird angles.
    The only way to plow is straight thru into the road
    also have to push the sno-banks back at the edge
    of the road so folks can see ! I just clean up the
    street afterwards.............
    Besides here in Podunk NY there ain't too many cops
    around at 4 am cuz its donut time ! Been lucky too
    not caught once! (knock on wood)..................geo
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If I read your post right, you're not only pushing it into and across the street, but leaving it in the street for the County or City plow to clean up. You say a 4x4 or front wheel drive "shouldn't" have any trouble. Sorry, but that's not your call to make. The road is for people to drive on, not for you to deposit your snow on. They're not responsible for plowing your snow. This is a part of planning before it snows - Where are you going to pile the snow and how are you going to get it there? Yes, sometimes it may be "necessary" to plow across the street. But clean up your mess, never leave it in the roadway.
  5. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I HATE!!!!! People who plow into the road & just leave it there for the highway plows to get!!!!
    I have seen guys leave 2ft high trail of snow blocking the road.
    I've never see anyone get a ticket for it, although I have been known to take that nice big trail & put it right back where it came from.
    I also HATE!!!!! watching idiots snow blowing sidewalks into the middle of the road. During a storm the plows will just put it right back on the sidewalk. After the storm it's a hazard. I've seen some guys doing it, drop the blade & completely cover them with it.
    Usually that gets me a WTF look but it sure gets them to stop.
  6. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650

    In my area, a neighboring city, aggressively goes after people who deposit snow on the street.

    I used to plow a building and pushed the snow into the street, then pushed the pile back on the property. It seems each time the local police department would show up before I was done.

    The officer who showed up would always wait till I was done with removing the snow, then would talk with me. The first thing they said was thanks for removing the snow from the street, so I don't have to write you a ticket! Nice Cop there!!!! :)

    Since I plowed before the city plows plowed the street anyone could see that I removed all the snow I pushed in the street plus some. Never had a problem, I just made sure that I pushed all the snow off the street that I pushed out on it.

    Be professional, do a professional job, it pays off in the end.

  7. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    I will check when I get back to work on Wed. to see if there are any laws in Indiana as far as leaving the snow in the street. I believe there is, but sure off the top of my head. You are leaving yourself open for liability if anyone has an accident because of the snow that you purposely left in the roadway. On a similiar point, had a local business that plowed their own lot, and put all of the snow in the street. When the street dept. saw this, they came over with their loader, and put all of the snow back in the business lot, right in front of the front door. That was a 10 ft. high pile too.

  8. butter

    butter Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    1 other thing to remember. If you have to push across the road, clean up your mess, and don't fill the ditch up, as if you get a thaw or alot of rain that ditch you just filled in will have nowhere to flow all that water. You might end up flooding the road and getting a flash freeze and create a big mess. I'm with GOT GRASS i hate when people push across the road and don't clean up there mess, it just gives us plow guys a bad rap.:nono: :nono:
  9. GVLawnCare

    GVLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Big Problems

    I have posted my feelings on this before, and I will post them again. As a snowplowing contractor I understand that sometimes you have to do what you have to do. On the other hand, as a Highway Dept. snowplow driver, there is nothing more aggrivating than some lowlife contractor pushing snow into the road. :realmad: If you are trying to find a sure way to piss off the highway crews in your town, go ahead, leave 2 feet of snow in the road. This also opens up the homeowner and subsequently you to a major liability if that snow causes an accident. Say someone is drivivng down the road, hit YOUR snow, lose control and hit a tree...Guess who's liable??? You got it, you are. I am not saying you are a lowlife, but there are plenty of "us" that are. Pushing snow across the road is illegal in NY, (and most likely it is were you live too) and in my opinion, pushing snow into the road and leaving it there is complettely ludacris. Dont take offense to my post, but I feel very sronlgy about this.

    Happy plowing and be SAFE! MATT
  10. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    AH YES.......Finally done playing er.. plowing ! Also in NY
    you can be ticketed for NOT having a fashing yellow beacon
    light when plowing..............................geo
  11. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Snow Chain, when you push snow into/across the road,you are now taking on the liability in the event of an accident. A lawyer will have a ball with your statement (a most 4x4 trucks and front wheel drives shouldnt have any trouble).Like Mick said,a plan should be in place before you move the snow,and if you do push across the road,do it quickly,and clean up your mess,all of it. I used to have an account where it was necessary to either push across the road,or onto the shoulder( a real big full shoulder,then push along the road),and 20 ft away where there was a ditch i could push it in. Well i always pushed the snow on the shoulder ,then in the ditch.Last time i did that account i was just finishing up when a commuter in a hurry in an escort slammed into the back of a semi pulling in the parking lot.He locked them up right in front of my account,right where i would have pushed the snow across.In 10 minutes the troopers were there,if I had pushed across the road, I can guarantee i would have been ticketed and sued by the car owner's lawyer/insurance co. In NY even if you clean up your mess you still cant push across the road,because you are removing the salt they put down. I have pushed snow across backroads at 3 am before the plwo trucks have gotten to them,but once they come thru thats it for me,no more pushing across.With the V plow i can push across the roads,and not leave the big trails a stright blade does either,even if i leave a trail, I can quickly clean it up in one pass,no more chasing snow around like when i had a straight blade.
  12. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I don't push across the street but sometimes i will push out but leave it at the edge then come out and bank it into the corrner.You get fined good here if you push across.
  13. snowflake

    snowflake Member
    Messages: 86

    thats the same way here in michigan it illegal to push it accross the street. but never really gets enforced that im awhere of. but lots of plowers do it. see it alll the time push it out in the street and leave a mess for city trucks to clean up.
    also the home owners that snowblow there snow right into the street to just like to drop blade and rooster tail it right back into there face. had it one time had to dive into other lane so butthead home owner wouldnt get hit had his butt and snowblower right out in my lane makin a khell of a mess in road butthead musts fingered at 300 in the morning no body be out on the road.
  14. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415

    On the road never

    across the road & off the berm & 100% cleaned up trails is OK but any snow on the road :nono: :nono:

    Not only is it against the law in almost all states but you will be liable if someone has a accident. I know as my wife is a insurance adjuster & has a claim going to court right now against a snowplower. :eek:

    BTW where is "Snow Chain" 1 post & gone?? Anyway Welcome to PlowSite
  15. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I have a few places that I have to push it across the road. I make darn sure that I clean up all the trails. I'll push across the road until 6 am, then there are too many cars n the road. I know it is against city bylaw to push across the street, but the city guys have no problem with us guy that do it, as long as it is cleaned up and done in a safe manner. They also know the guys who make a mess and leave it on the road, and they are constantly on their case. One guy will literally leave it all in the street. I even have a hard time driving through it with my 4X4, so I'm sure a little economy car would high center in the snow. This kind of action is very unproffesional, and give us good guy a bad name.
  16. Snow Chain

    Snow Chain Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the info guys

    I will be real careful about this from now on, because I certainly agree with the fact that you cant afford to have a legal battle over it when the plower would end up being to blame. I really try to avoid doing this at all, as I had mentioned, but after my Dad got so upset over it I decided that it was a good point, and might make for a good discussion as well as getting some new reasons for not doing it. Thanks for the good posts and be careful when plowing.

    Take care,
  17. snowfighterG

    snowfighterG Member
    Messages: 34

    Definitely a don't!!

    Here in Camillus New York it is illegal to push snow across any street cleaned or otherwise. We always are careful not to do this with good pre planning. If the piles get too big I would glady pay to have them taken away for safety reasons and to keep the temptation to push across the street from happening. I know of a few snow plows that got t-boned in the middle of the road while the plowing because the driver couldn't stop. My advise........don't do it!

  18. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    in my area every town has a different rule or fine.like the town of north haven its $240.00 to the contactor and home owner for every push across the road east haven allows it as long as windrows are cleaned off the road and it is piled over the curb.your not allowed to push across main roads.i think its $140.00 to the contractor per push.branford you can not ever push across the road unless the town dot gives you permission i don't know how much the fine is there.also when its a blizzard they allow you to push across the roads as long as the piles don't block someones view trying to pull out onto the road.you can not push piles on corners of a street or block sewers
  19. ebaron

    ebaron Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Saw this today and couldn't believe it. The town street was just cleaned good by the crews. This guy backdrags into the street, then back drags with the blade up a bit, puts in forward spreads it a bit and takes off with a smile. Had it down to an art and quite proud of it.
  20. bam

    bam Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 201

    after the blizzard alot of contractors pushed out small lots and driveways along a primary road. on tues. morning after the state had been through some windrows were left by several along the one road. I had some trouble controlling my truck with plow when I bumped into these going about 30 in a 45 zone.

    Just missed seeing the accident, but a lady in front of me must have been going quicker, lost control and flipped the car into the woodline. looked a little dazed as she crawled out of the car.

    Needless to say the cause was a contractors windrows cutting across the two lane road. its not like the road was even busy. after all that snow people were reluctant to travel. and two more passes would have cleaned up the mess that was left.