This Could Happen to You if You Clear Your Snow Onto Streets and Ditches
When you just want to get the shoveling and snow blowing done asap, it can be tempting to push the snow onto the street, or in the rural areas, push it right into a nearby ditch. The problem is it's not legal and you could find yourself facing fines and in a worse case scenario, time behind bars.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation says it is illegal to place or dump excess snow on a highway right of way, which includes driving surfaces, shoulders and ditches.
“The recent snowstorm across South Dakota has deposited a large amount of snow in some areas,” said Kristi Sandal, public information officer. “The space within the right of way needs to be reserved for future snow that may fall on the road. If the department’s plow operators do not have a place to put that snow, it severely hampers their ability to clear roadways.”
One of the first steps the DOT will take is removing the illegally dumped snow, and sending you the bill. Serious infractions could have you facing charges of a violation of the anti-dumping law, a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both.
“Piling snow in the state highway right of way can be very dangerous,” says Sandal. “Snow piles can restrict sight distance, as well as present an extreme hazard if a vehicle leaves the roadway. Snow piles that remain adjacent to the road may cause additional drifting and visibility problems posing more safety hazards to travelers, as well as additional expenses for manpower and equipment to remove the illegally dumped snow.”