A good way to be a friendly neighbor is to be careful on where you pile your snow.  Some folks haven't gotten much this winter, so the time is right for a reminder.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation is reminding the public and commercial snow removal operators that it is illegal to place or dump excess snow on highway right of way, which includes driving surfaces, shoulders and ditches.

The SDDOT director of operations Greg Fuller cuts to the chase when describing the results of not following this law.  “Piling snow in the state highway right of way can be very dangerous.  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.”

Violation of the anti-dumping law is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both. It is the policy of the SDDOT to remove snow that has been illegally piled within the highway right of way that may be a safety hazard. In addition, violators will be billed for the costs of removing illegally dumped snow.

Property owners and access users are reminded it is their responsibility to remove snow from the ends of driveways and around their own mailboxes.  Fuller asks landowners and commercial snow-removal operators to keep excess snow on private property or haul it to legal dumping sites.