Is It Legal To Pass A Snowplow In New York?
Winter had a slow start in New York State, but last week, Mother Nature made sure she made herself known all over the Empire State as Winter roared back with a vengeance.
The last few weeks in New York has seen many regions in the state get walloped with snow and cold temperatures as several feet of snow fell in Western and Northern New York. The snow in the Buffalo area was rather extreme, so much so that the region essentially shut down for a few days. Schools and businesses closed all over the area as the region attempted to dig out.
We've seen more snowplows on the roads over the last few weeks than we've seen in the first few months of the winter season. This, of course, is a good thing as workers try their best to keep the roads clear for us to handle our business. With that in mind, we know plows generally move slower than regular traffic and there's always that one (or several) drivers who think they need to speed around the plow to get their business done.
But, is it safe to pass a snow plow? And perhaps more importantly, is it even legal to pass a snow plow?
Can You Legally Pass A Moving Snowplow In New York State?
Well... Can you?
Believe it or not, yes, you legally can pass a snow plow in New York.
But maybe the better question is: Is it a good idea to pass a snow plow? No, it's generally not a good idea to try and pass a plow.
Snowplows are big and have many blind spots. A plow truck loaded with salt weighs more than 10 tons. Their size and weight makes them difficult to maneuver or stop quickly. Trucks that are actively plowing can kick up clouds of snow that reduce visibility for motorists in adjacent lanes. They can also create ridges of snow in between lanes that make changing lanes challenging. For these reasons, motorists should never pass snowplows.
-New York State Department of Transportation
NYSDOT produces a safe winter driving guide and one of the first things on that guide is a safety warning to give the plow some space. While it may be leagl to do it, it doesn't seem like a smart idea.
Since winter driving is in full effect, it's best to take your time and go slow and steady. Whatever you do, don't be like this driver in New York who tried to zoom around traffic and crashed into a snowplow.
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