Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I guess most Michiganders are criminals now!

There are many laws in existance that are poorly written, counterproductive, or just plain defy logic. In a northern state that recieves much snow on a yearly basis, such as Michigan, there is apparently one law that not only defies logic, but practically turns every resident of the state into a criminal.

A Springfield, MI man is now facing a $100 fine and up to 90 days in jail for pushing snow across the street. That's right folks... pushing snow across the street, in an attempt to clear a friend's driveway. You can read more about it by reading this story from the Detroit Free Press.

When there is such a massive onslaught of snow dumped on us at once and people need to clear their driveways in order to drive to work or school, there is one question that needs to be asked here: where the fock else is the snow supposed to go?!?

Who hasn't done this while trying to clear their driveways? I suppose that the people who own snow blowers recieve the blessings of the state for taking the alternative route of blowing their snow onto their neighbor's driveway, but what about everyone else? I knew that I was breaking the law as early as the age of 15 when I'd partake in the consumption of alcohol, but I didn't realize that I was already a criminal for shoveling snow across the street years before that!

Here is the explanation given as to why this ludicrous law exists:
Dennis Randolph, managing director of the Calhoun County Road Commission, said his staff tries to inform residents about the law. He said pushing snow across the road is a problem because it creates hazardous humps of ice and snow. He added that residents get angry when road crews plow the cleared snow back into driveways.

Um... road crews plow snow into people's driveways anyway, with or without any clearing taking place beforehand. These road crews then force people to go outside and shovel snow across the street yet again, since a cleared driveway isn't exactly smooth sailing when there is a huge lump of snow at the very end of it created by the road crews. Common sense also tells us that drivers should take caution while driving in winter weather because there will be ice and snow on the roads anyways, even without this ridiculous non-hazard of driveway clearing.

This little snippet is great, as this Andrew Rowland guy clearly has his mind screwed on correctly:
But Andrew Rowland, owner of Right Choice Lawn and Landscape of Battle Creek, said the law is "ridiculous." He said he has to push snow across the road in at least three places because there's nowhere else to put it, but he uses common sense and makes sure the road is clear.
Ah yes -- common sense. An apparent prerequisite to working for the government is that one must first remove all traces of common sense from their minds, which is why Mr. Rowland's common sense has been made a criminal act.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this story too, and your commentary on this asinine law is spot-on. Of course, I may just be snarky still because our county snow-goons hit our mailbox while plowing the road. Hey guys, the road is the blackish stuff with no grass growing on it!


11:19 AM  
Blogger Ali Massoud said...

You got that right. Snowstorms bring out the best in people, and the worst in government. If you dump snow in the road or your neighbor's yard then that is wrong. But to move it to the curb?

Grenville is a very small village in the lower part of MI almost in Ohio. It is the capital of the Invisible Empire of Anarchistan. :>

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Buckeye by birth (a southern buckeye, though). I've probably been through Anarchistan a coupla times, way back when ...


9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This law has been in place and every snow maintenance professional should be aware of it. I've plowed snow for several years, and am aware of many of the "small" things that affect the quality of service delivered to customers. Our company plows around $15,000.00 per occurrence worth of accounts. We never allow ourselves or our workers to push snow across the street, nore does any other professional company. This is a mistake that most people make when they are unaware of the laws and the wrong doing. Snow plowing can damage lawns and other areas when we push snow. Most plow companies don't go around repairing this damage (we do). The year we had a company pushing snow across the street into our company's front lawn, right in front of our windows with signage. The company quit after we confronted them. Besides the snow fell on someone else's property, lets keep it there. Everyone uses the roads so that is why the government can get away with it. I do agree that it is frustrating when we have to shovel the big pile from the mouths of our drives and mailboxes, but safety is a priority for the road service and taking the time to adjust plow settings in front of every drive would be very time intensive. Every time I price a job, I have to be aware of things like where snow can be placed. In my opinion, there is always a place to put the snow. This is why we charge so much. To be a good plower, one must be creative. A lot of people look at the service as a very simple task; in reality, it can be a very frustrating and complicated task, especially as the season progresses and the snow accumulates. To keep it simple, leave your junk on your property.

Shane Thompson
Director of Operations
Hadaway and Sons

11:47 AM  

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