ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Folks in the Midwest are no strangers to winter’s powerful snowstorms. When they occur, they often dump quite a load onto driveways, parking lots, and public streets.
But, is it legal to push or blow that snow from your driveway into the street?
Whether or not depends on the municipal code in each city or village. In Rockford, for example, Ordinance Section 26-9 says it is illegal to plow, push, blow, or otherwise deposit snow on a public street or place.
Most Illinois jurisdictions we looked at had some type of ordinance on the books declaring it illegal to move your snow onto the street.
But, if you move snow into a street and it causes someone to have an injury, you cannot be held liable, under Illinois law.
The Illinois 745 ILCS 75 Snow and Ice Removal Act states:
Sec. 1: It is declared to be the public policy of this State that owners and others residing in residential units be encouraged to clean the sidewalks abutting their residences of snow and ice. The General Assembly, therefore, determines that it is undesirable for any person to be found liable for damages due to his or her efforts in the removal of snow or ice from such sidewalks, except for acts which amount to clear wrongdoing, as described in Section 2 of this Act.
Sec. 2. Any owner, lessor, occupant or other person in charge of any residential property, or any agent of or other person engaged by any such party, who removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from sidewalks abutting the property shall not be liable for any personal injuries allegedly caused by the snowy or icy condition of the sidewalk resulting from his or her acts or omissions unless the alleged misconduct was willful or wanton.
One lawyer, who is licensed in Michigan and Illinois says that it is also illegal for someone push snow onto your private property.
In a response to an online question from 2018, the Real Estate Lawyer says, “If you own the property, no it is not legal for someone else to deposit snow (or other debris) on it. If the property belongs to a government entity then it is for that entity to determine whether or not to permit the deposits. If this is near the road, I suspect it falls within the municipal or county road right-of-way, but even so you should register your complaint with the governmental unit.”