South Dakota DOT warns against illegal snow dumping

December 19, 2022

PIERRE, S.D.–The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) reminds the public and commercial snow removal operators that it is illegal to place or dump excess snow on highway right-of-way, which includes driving surfaces, shoulders, and ditches.

“The recent snowstorm across South Dakota this past week has deposited a large amount of snow in some areas,” said Craig Smith, Director of Operations. ”The space within the right-of-way needs to be reserved for future snow that may fall on the road. If the Department’s plow operators do not have a place to put that snow, it severely hampers their ability to clear roadways.”

Violation of the law is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both.

“Piling snow in the state highway right-of-way can be very dangerous,” said Smith. “Snow piles can restrict sight distance, as well as present an extreme hazard if a vehicle leaves the roadway. Snow piles that remain adjacent to the road may cause additional drifting and visibility problems posing more safety hazards to travelers, as well as additional expenses for manpower and equipment to remove the illegally dumped snow.”