Drivesmart: Hey there! Don’t plow me in

Your kingdom ends at the property line and property for the highway begins on the other side.

Your kingdom ends at the property line and property for the highway begins on the other side.

In order to construct your driveway access you must have permission from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure if you live outside of a municipality. One term of that permission is that your are responsible for all maintenance, including clearing snow from highway plowing operations at the access entrance.

One might be tempted to push all that snow right back out onto the highway where it came from. While it might be satisfying, there are two reasons that this would be a poor decision to make. The Transportation Act forbids causing anything to be deposited on public highways without authorization in section 62(1). If a collision resulted from the snow you moved onto the traveled lanes, you could be liable to civil action for damages. That could be very costly to you and the victims.

The Transportation Act also forbids obstructing or preventing another person from engaging in any activity if that activity is authorized by the Act. Highway maintenance is an activity within the many powers granted to the minister. The maintenance contractor would be operating under the authority of the minister.

Considering that we want speedy snow clearing from highways and not to have to spend more than we already do on taxes for road maintenance perhaps the status quo is acceptable, even if it means that we have to shovel again after the plows pass by.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca