What is Maine's Law on Snow Removal
The state and towns are required to remove snow from their roads. 23 MRS §1001 states, “Improved state highways shall be continually maintained, and the snow removed from such sections of designated state highways as the department may determine, under the direction and control of the department at the expense of the State.” Likewise, 23 MRS §1003 states, “Towns shall keep state aid highways cleared of snow during the winter season or such part of the year as the department may direct, so that they may be reasonably usable by motor vehicles.” Several statutes (23 MRS §1005-A, 23 MRS §3201, 23 MRS §3651, and 23 MRS §3655) address damages and liability related to snow on state or local roads. See also this Maine Municipal Association article, “Legal Winter Road Questions and Answers,” as posted on the website of the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT). According to the MaineDOT's guide to private roads and road associations, “In general, a municipality has no legal right to spend public funds to repair, maintain or plow privately owned roads (Opinion of the Justices, 560 A.2d 552 (Me. 1989)).” 29-A MRS §2396 prohibits a person from placing snow on a public way that has not accumulated there naturally.
There are no state statutes that require property owners to remove snow from sidewalks; however, towns and cities might have local ordinances that require it (30-A MRS §3009(A)). 23 MRS §3658 states, “No town is liable to an action for damages to any person on foot on account of snow or ice on any sidewalk or crosswalk nor on account of the slippery condition of any sidewalk or crosswalk.”
There are no state statutes that require motorists to remove snow or ice from their entire vehicle before operating it. 29-A MRS §2082 states that, “A person may not operate a vehicle with a sign, poster, opaque or semitransparent material or substance on the front windshield, side wing or side or rear window that obstructs the operator's clear view of the way or an intersecting way.” 29-A MRS §2396 prohibits a driver from operating a vehicle with an unsecured load. A parked vehicle that is “interfering with snow removal or the normal movement of traffic” can be removed by law enforcement (see 29-A MRS §2069).
1/24/2018 A-Z List