Road officials: Follow state laws when snowplowing

Published 4:59 am Monday, February 9, 2004

By By NORMA LERNER / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- Did you know that it is illegal to plow snow on any roadway or put snow across a roadway or onto the shoulder of the roadway that obstructs the safety vision of a driver of a motor vehicle?
This was discussed Thursday morning during a meeting of the Cass County Road Commission.
Road Superintendent Steve Northrup said it is illegal to plow snow on the highway.
One of the commissioners brought it to his attention that someone was out in the intersection of U.S. 12 and Cassopolis Road recently removing snow with a front-end loader.
A lot of people do this and think they are helping out, Northrup said, but it's against the law.
Most people are unaware of this when he brings it to their attention.
They often pile it high in the right-of-way or put it across the road and make ridges that turn to ice. This makes it hazardous to motorists.
He added most contractors who plow snow are unaware of the law.
Northrup said most snow removers are cooperative about the situation, and it has been many years since anyone has been cited by the sheriff's office for a violation.
State law says: "A person shall not remove, or cause to be removed, snow, ice or slush onto or across a roadway or the shoulder of the roadway in a manner which obstructs the safety vision of the driver of a motor vehicle other than off-road vehicles.
This is an act from 1978.
Northrup also reported that a snowplow truck driver had a slight accident last week on Mason Street in Mason Township when his truck rolled on its side after his wheel went off onto the shoulder.
He said the shoulder was soft and narrow and pulled him into a ditch. He said the driver was shaken, but not hurt, and there was little damage to the truck, which had to be towed out of the ditch.
Road commissioners also approved of an increase in fees for its audit to be conducted by Rehmann Robson of Jackson, to meet new state auditing requirements.
Employees at random will be interviewed for the possibility of fraud, said Financial Director and Acting Manager Lois Jacobson. She said the fee will be increased by a couple thousand dollars.
Road commissioners also approved a rental agreement for use of the community meeting room for governmental agencies only.