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

With the winter season’s arrival, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding residents of steps they can take to secure their mailboxes and properly maintain driveway entry points.

“Throughout the winter season we receive concerns about mailboxes along the roadway and snow piling up in driveways. Our snowplow operators are continuously working throughout each snowstorm to provide safe and passable roadways to our motorists. We ask that property owners be mindful of their responsibilities when it comes to mailboxes in the right-of-way and removing snow around their driveways,” said Robb Dean, Assistant District 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 as well as for the convenience to their customers. 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 a 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.
  • Questions regarding the proper location for a mailbox along the roadway can be directed to the local post office.

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 show to the right side of the driveway and clear 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.