Snow removal notices to be posted in yards

Grand Traverse County Road Commissioners are passing out notices regarding improper snow removal. You could be fined and forced to appear in court.

Snow is piling up, and for some people, itâ??s in the wrong places. That can cause trouble for drivers and for homeowners.

The Grand Traverse County Road Commission is warning people about the possibility of tickets for improper snow removal.

According to Michigan vehicle code, putting snow, ice, or slush on any roadway or obstructing vision with snow, ice, or slush is illegal and warrants a ticket.

The road commission is letting people know there's a problem by passing out stakes with Act No. 82 of the Public Acts of 1978 posted on them.

â??If you find one of these in your snow banks, cease what you're doing,â?? said Toby Javin, Grand Traverse County Road Commission Superintendent. â??There's obviously a vision problem.â??

Starting Thursday morning, the Grand Traverse County Road Commission will be notifying people who aren't clearing their snow the right way.

â??Pedestrians need to be able to see, and motorists need to see other motorists,â?? said Mark Andersen of Traverse City. â??You know, you're inching forward past a stop sign to look down the street to see what's coming and it's really hard to see. That's how you can tell when you have a lot of snow.â??

â??We have areas where people have snow piled up so high people can't see road signs. That's a serious violation. We do know that people push snow across the road, it's a common practice,â?? said Javin. But that is illegal, too, and could result in a misdemeanor and a court date.

Surrounding counties follow the same practice of delivering notices, so Grand Traverse decided to follow suit.

â??We are trying to give fair warning. We're going to document where these things are taking place and if they continue on, we will get in touch with law enforcement. It gives people a warning, a fair warning, that they are indeed breaking a state law,â?? said Javin.

Not clearing out the roads can have serious consequences. The road commission said chunks of snow that someone plowed into the street are to blame for a county truck crashing a few weeks ago, causing almost 20 thousand dollars worth of damage.

The road commission wants everyone to be clear on the law, so everyone stays safe.

â??I'm pretty accurate with where I throw snow. So I know where I want to put it and it usually ends up back on the banks,â?? said Andersen.

â??Ultimately, we don't want anybody to get a citation. We just need everybody to make enough room on their own property to accept the snow they're receiving,â?? said Javin.

If you know of an intersection where snow is dangerously piled, you can call and leave a service request with the road commission. Javin said the commission knows the piles are high and are working on shaving them down.

The superintendent said snow removal is a serious issue. If somebody gets in a wreck because of your snow piles, you can be held liable for the damage.