General, Town News|

Snow Removal and Winter Driving

“Highway Superintendent reminds residents about snow plowing and winter driving issues”.

It is important to be reminded of a few things in regards to snow removal and winter driving.

During and after snow removal events, highway agencies, in the course of plowing, receive emails or
phone calls regarding damage to mailboxes, either from snow plows directly or from the force of
snow being thrown by plows. If such damage is indeed caused by snow removal, it is not done
intentionally. It is, however, an unfortunate consequence of snow removal.

As far as the particular agencies replacing damaged mailboxes, it must be pointed out that there is
no statutory or legal authority requiring them to do so. In fact, under Section 319 of the New York
State Highway Law, mailboxes are considered highway obstructions and are only “allowed” in the
right-of-way as a convenience to the owner as it is understood they are required for mail deliver.

Additionally, an opinion issued by the Attorney General on February 28, 1966 stated, “When the
necessity of keeping the highway open conflicts with an individual’s reception of the mail, the
later must stand aside.” Highway crews do their best to avoid mailboxes, but often times
visibility, oncoming traffic and heavy snow work against them.

The best method to protect your mailbox during the winter months is to ensure it is properly
attached to the post that is in good condition and meets specifications and to keep the mailbox
assembly simple to limit impact surface area for plowed snow.

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