Transportation officials say illegally dumped snow causing problems

(KSFY) - State officials are reminding the public and commercial snow removal operators that it is illegal to place or dump excess snow on highway right of way.

According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation, recent snow snowstorms have deposited a large amount of snow in some areas, and improperly dumped snow is causing problems in some spots.

“The space within the right of way needs to be reserved for future snow that may fall on the road," said public information officer Kristi Sandal. "If the department’s plow operators do not have a place to put that snow, it severely hampers their ability to clear roadways.”

The right of way includes driving surfaces, shoulders and ditches.

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.

Officials are also reminding property owners and access users it is their responsibility to remove snow from the ends of driveways and around their own mailboxes.