Is It Against the Law to Shovel Snow Onto the Road?
Depositing Snow Upon a Roadway, Whether By Plowing or Shoveling or Otherwise, Is An Offence Contrary to Section 181 of the Highway Traffic Act. A Person Who Is Found Guilty of Such An Offence May Be Subjected to a Fine of $1,000 Plus Victim Surcharge and Court Cost.
Understanding the Illegality of Plowing or Shoveling Snow Onto a Roadway Including Applicable Penalties
The money and effort spent to maintain the snow and ice that falls upon roadways is substantial; however, a necessary expense of resources as the means to keep roadways as safe as possible. Accordingly, people who deposit snow upon the roadways, whether by shovel or plow, undermine the effort to keep the roadways maintained and safe.
Whereas snow and ice presents a serious safety hazard for motorists and pedestrians alike, great resources are expended to keep roadways well maintained and thereby as safe as possible. Persons who plow snow or shovel snow onto the roadway undermine the maintenance effort as well as creating hazards that could cause an accident resulting in serious injury or death. Accordingly, the law, per section 181 of the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8 does forbid persons from pushing, or piling snow onto the roadway. For those found guilty of violating section 181, the details for the penalty upon conviction are prescribed by section 214(1) of the Highway Traffic Act whereas section 181 is actually silent, meaning absent, about the penalty details. Interestingly, what is actually defined as the "roadway" often requires careful review of the definition as within section 1 of the Highway Traffic Act. Within section 181, section 214(1), and section 1 of the Highway Traffic Act it is specifically stated:
Deposit of snow on roadway
181 No person shall deposit snow or ice on a roadway without permission in writing so to do from the Ministry or the road authority responsible for the maintenance of the road.
214 (1) Every person who contravenes this Act or any regulation is guilty of an offence and on conviction, where a penalty for the contravention is not otherwise provided for herein, is liable to a fine of not less than $60 and not more than $1,000.
“roadway” means the part of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, but does not include the shoulder, and, where a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” refers to any one roadway separately and not to all of the roadways collectively;
As stated above, the general penalty prescribed by section 214(1) of the Highway Traffic Act imposes a fine ranging from sixty ($60) dollars to one thousand ($1,000) dollars for plowing snow or shoveling snow onto the roadway. Furthermore, a statutory victim surcharge plus court cost will also apply.
Plowing snow, shoveling snow, or otherwise depositing snow upon the roadway presents a great risk of serious harm to motorists using the roadway while also causing waste to the expense incurred by municipalities in the effort to keep roadways maintained and reasonably safe. Accordingly, the law forbids any manner of depositing snow upon a roadway and imposes a fine of up to one thousand ($1,000) dollars plus victim surcharge and court cost.