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In New York you can get a fine for a snow-covered car or sidewalk: how to clear them correctly


Alina Prikhodko

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New York has regulations on how quickly sidewalks must be cleared after the first flakes fall and how wide walkways must be. Silive have prepared guidance for homeowners, property managers, businesses, residents and drivers.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in fines. The countdown begins as soon as the snow stops falling. If you do not remove snow from your car, this can also result in a fine.

Who is responsible for removing snow and ice from the sidewalk?

According to city ​​administrative code, property owners, as well as persons responsible for a site or building (such as tenants, property managers or building managers) must maintain sidewalks adjacent to their home or business in a “reasonably safe condition.”

This requirement includes clearing snow, ice, dirt and other materials from both the sidewalk in front of the house and on the side if the house is on a corner.

How quickly should residents and businesses remove snow?

Residents and businesses should remove snow after a storm according to the following schedule:

  • Snow stopped falling from 7:00 to 16:49 - remove within 4 hours.
  • Precipitation stopped from 17:00 to 20:59 - clearing within 14 hours.
  • Snow fell from 21:00 to 6:59 am - it should be cleared by 11:00.

On the subject: Rules for snow removal in New York: what to do and what not to do under any circumstances

What's the best way to remove snow from the sidewalk?

  • Clear snow along the sidewalk adjacent to your home.

  • Try not to push snow from the sidewalk onto the street.

  • Remove snow from around the fire hydrant if there is one in front of your property.

  • Do not cover pedestrian crossings with snow.

  • Remove snow from the front yard, behind the porch line, or onto the grassy verge.

  • If possible, clear a path at least 4 feet (120 cm) wide along the sidewalk.

  • For corner homes, clear the path to the crosswalk, including all walkways and driveways.

  • Move puddles of melted snow away from crosswalks to prevent hazards and improve accessibility.

  • Consider the needs of people in wheelchairs, wheelchairs, students and those using mobility aids.

The fines for failure to clear the sidewalk in a timely manner, according to city authorities, are as follows:

  • First violation: $100-$150
  • Second violation: $150-$350
  • Third and subsequent offenses: $250-$350

What are the laws regarding removing snow or ice from cars?

As of 2018, Section 33 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law includes Section S. 1229-e. This section requires any driver on public roads to clear his or her vehicle of snow, ice, or hail greater than three inches (7 cm) in thickness on all surfaces, including the roof and trunk.

Fines for failing to clear vehicles of snow, ice or hail can range from $150 to $850 per offense. Exceptions include active precipitation, a three-hour period after the weather event has ceased, parked vehicles, and emergency or public safety vehicles.

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