Are You Legally Required To Shovel Your Sidewalk In Maine?
The answer may surprise you!
Not that we have been bombarded with a ton of snow so far this winter, but it is far from over, so a question came to mind, are we required by law to shovel our sidewalk areas, after a significant amount of snowfall?
When in doubt, the Maine Legislature has the answer:
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)).J
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))
29-A MRS §2396 prohibits a person from placing snow on a public way that has not accumulated there naturally.
So there you have it! However, this got us to thinking, what about our neighbors in New England?
Do you have to shovel your sidewalk in Massachusetts?
Most Massachusetts cities and towns require property owners to clear sidewalks but also check your city or town ordinances. Often you can be fined for failing to remove snow. Also remember that shoveling snow out into the street is not allowed and is a fineable offense.
In New Hampshire, the law states the following:
Sidewalks on public roads are maintained and cleared of snow and ice by the municipality at no additional cost to property owners. State v. Jackman, 69 N.H. 318 (1898)
We have answers to a few other Maine winter snow removal questions:
Is your landlord responsible for snow removal in Maine?
In Maine, the obligations to remove snow and ice are determined exclusively by the lease. The tenant or the occupant has the duty to remove the ice from the walkways and other areas on and around the property unless the lease has different provisions.
Is it illegal to push snow across the road in Maine?
(29A MRSA 2396) prohibits pushing of snow into the public way. " A person may not place and allow to remain on a public way snow or slush that has not accumulated there naturally."
Here are a couple helpful tips for shoveling:
- Bend at the knees, not the back when lifting the shovel
- Lift with your legs bent, stand with your feet hip-width apart for balance and keep the shovel close to your body
- Don't pick up too much snow at once
- Use a smaller shovel, or filling a larger shovel no more than halfway.
As of today, there don't appear to be any major snow events on the way, but rest assured, it will be back.
10 Amazing Things To Put On Your Maine Winter Bucket List
Gallery Credit: Arlen Jameson