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Why Don’t Snow Plow Operators Obey The Law?

Blizzard Barrels Into Northeastern U.S.
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It was just a couple of weeks ago that I was in shorts and a t-shirt on a 70 degree day catching up on some painting outside.  But after an incredibly mild winter and the warmest February on record, the season’s worst snowstorm waited until the middle of March to arrive.  And I’ve used my snowblower more in the past couple of days than I have all winter. 

The weather is crazy here in Western New York, but it’s no excuse for ignoring laws when it snows.  One thing that just drives me nuts is when private snow plow operators plow snow from driveways into or across the street and deposit it on other people’s property.  It’s not only illegal it’s ignorant.

Every county, city, town and village in the state has laws regulating snow plow operators.  There are laws regarding what they can and cannot do.  But either plow operators don’t know the laws or they don’t care.  And what I don’t understand is why the police don’t seem to enforce the laws.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen piles of snow plowed from driveways across the street and left in a pile on the side of the road.  Sometimes that snow is even left in the driving lane.  It’s obvious where the snow came from.

Eventually that pile of snow becomes a pile of ice and good luck if you don’t see it on a dark night.  You’re going to damage your car if not worse.

The Town of Cheektowaga has very specific regulations regarding snowplowing including definitions, permit requirements, enforcement and penalties.  They’re similar to other municipalities.  Here are Cheektowaga’s regulations related to plowing;

A.
No person shall plow, shovel, sweep or pile snow, ice or other such materials in or beyond the right-of-way of any street or public highway or cause such to be done so as to interfere with the safety and convenience or public travel or such as to constitute an obstruction of the sight of persons traveling by vehicle or by foot on public streets or sidewalks or on private driveways.
B.
No person shall plow, shovel or pile snow from a private or public driveway in such a manner as to deposit the same in the public roadway or on a public sidewalk or across the street from said driveway.

It appears to be pretty clear to me.  So why are these rules ignored?

I also see plow operators push snow from parking lots onto public sidewalks – yet another infraction.  So they might say “where do you want me to put it?”  That’s your problem.  If you can’t do the job, don’t take the job.  There are certain responsibilities that come along with snow removal and they include knowing the rules, observing the rules and concern for public safety.

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