The Wyoming Department of Transportation is issuing a reminder that it is a violation of state law to place snow on state roadways.
WYDOT has received many reports this month across central and northwest Wyoming of people pushing snow into the traffic lanes of state highways.
“Shoveling or plowing snow into the roadway where it will obstruct traffic and make it dangerous to pass is illegal in Wyoming,” according to Riverton Maintenance Foreman Shane Pugh.
State statute 36-10-401 stipulates that anyone who obstructs a public road or highway, common street or alley, public bridge or navigable river in a way that makes it inconvenient or dangerous to pass is breaking the law. Each violation is punishable by a fine of up to $100 and a jail sentence of up to three months.\
“One way to take care of snow is to pile it on your property,” Pugh said.
Other concerns:– Piling snow at the ends of driveways along highway shoulders and pushing snow across roads can create hazardous conditions;
— Piling or depositing snow that obstructs vision is a safety issue;– And, keeping sidewalks clear is important to help people walk safely out of the roadway.
Another concern is when residents and businesses pile snow at the ends of driveways along the highway shoulder, Pugh said. This “banked snow” can reduce visibility for vehicles trying to enter the roadway.
“When the snow banks get higher than your average car, it makes it very difficult for motorists to see other vehicles,” said Pugh. “Our crews work to keep the shoulders clear for motorists’ safety, and we need residents and business owners to do the same.”
Leaving a trail of snow on the pavement while plowing across the road also can cause problems. The snow may become packed and create ridges on the road, or, as temperatures change, the area may become icy.
“Careless plowing creates an added hazard to unsuspecting motorists and to road maintenance personnel,” Pugh said. “Winter can be a difficult time to get around for those on foot, so please take the extra effort to clear your sidewalks and help everyone stay mobile and safe.”