PennDOT Offers Tips to Secure Mailboxes, Maintain Driveways During Winter Weather

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WARREN, Pa. – With the winter season’s arrival in the northwest region, PennDOT is reminding residents of steps they can take to secure their mailboxes and properly maintain driveway entry points.

“As soon as the snow falls, we hear concerns about mailboxes along the roadway and snow piling up in driveways. Our plow truck drivers and mechanics work around the clock to provide safe and passable roadways for area residents and commuters. We ask property owners to be mindful of their responsibilities regarding mailboxes in the right-of-way and removing snow around driveways,” said Doug Schofield, Assistant District 1 Executive – Maintenance.

PennDOT allows property owners to place mailboxes within the limits of the legal right-of-way along state-owned roadways to accommodate the U.S. Postal Service’s need to deliver and receive the mail and for their customers’ convenience. Residents should remember that mailboxes located in the legal right-of-way are the responsibility of the property owner to maintain and repair.

Here are some tips for securing mailboxes during the winter:

  • Ensure the mailbox has strong support.
  • Construct a cantilever mailbox support that will “swing” a mailbox out of harm’s way.
  • Clear snow from in front and on the sides of the mailbox, disposing of it properly, not on the roadway.
  • Use reflective tape or other material to make the mailbox easier to see during storms or dark hours.

PennDOT also urges residents to not shovel snow onto state roads as this can increase the potential for crashes, and property owners can be held liable and/or face fines. State law requires citizens to use and maintain their property in ways that avoid creating hazardous road conditions for others, including not obstructing highway lanes and drainage facilities with snow and ice.

Whenever clearing driveway entry points, PennDOT recommends moving snow to the right side of the driveway and removing a section prior to the driveway to lessen the amount of snow a plow might push unto the driveway. A diagram of the recommended snow removal is available online at www.penndot.pa.gov/winter.

Property owners should also avoid creating large piles at entrances as high accumulations of snow can obstruct the vision of motorists, posing a safety hazard.