With winter weather upon us, the Kenosha County Division of Highways is reminding people not to deposit snow and ice from driveways onto roadways and highway shoulders, and to use extra caution when driving near snowplows.
Blowing or plowing snow onto roadways is both dangerous and illegal, said Kenosha County Highway Director Clement Abongwa.
“We appreciate the public’s help as our crews work to keep roads clear and safe for drivers throughout the winter,” Abongwa said.
Wisconsin Statute 346.94(5), “Rules of the Road,” states: “No person shall place or cause to be placed upon a highway any foreign substance which is or may be injurious to any vehicle or part thereof.”
Wisconsin Statute 346.95(3) states: “Any person violating S.346.94(5) shall be required to forfeit $50 for each offense.”
Additionally, Abongwa noted, if an accident is caused by snow/ice that was deposited onto a roadway, the person who did the depositing can be held liable for the accident and any resulting injuries and property damage.
As for using caution around snowplows, Abongwa noted another state statute.
Wisconsin statute 346.915 requires drivers to stay at least 200 feet behind a snowplow engaged in snow/ice removal upon any highway with a posted speed limit of more than 35 mph. Violators may receive a $175 fine and an assessment of three driver’s license demerit points.
“Giving additional space to snowplows helps to ensure your safety and that of other drivers, and it supports efficient snow-fighting operations,” Abongwa said. “If one of our vehicles in involved in an accident, the driver and equipment will likely be removed from active duty, reducing the resources we have to make the roads clean and safe for everyone during a snow or ice event.”
More tips on safe winter driving — including things to consider if you become stranded, winter vehicle maintenance and how to prepare an emergency winter travel kit — are available on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website, at https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/winter-drv/default.aspx.