The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is planning to crack down on residents who don't follow snow removal regulations this winter. According to Town Constable Cliff Sampson, the problem is found all over town. So if you're someone who shovels snow onto the road, or leaves your vehicle on the street during a snowstorm, you may end up with a ticket.
"Snow clearing is always an issue every year here," says Sampson.
"So what we're going to be doing, and what we've done in the past, is that during snow storms now, we're going to be cracking down on those people who are blocking the road. We'll be ticketing vehicles, and if we see the offence continuing...then we'll tow the vehicles."
There's several areas in Goose Bay where there's little room to shovel snow. So many residents have been pushing snow onto the shoulder of roads. But this method of snow removal is not allowed under municipal regulations. When a lot of people pile snow on the side of a road, it becomes more narrow and dangerous for driving.
"All of sudden, you got no shoulder on the road," says Sampson. "I've seen places where one lane is completely blocked off."
"The roads become narrower, faster," says the town's Superintendent of Works, Frank Brown. "The snow gets carried down the road a little way (by the plows). Our plows can only pile the snow so high, then it expands and encroaches onto the roadway itself.'
One of the biggest, and most dangerous, issues involves people leaving their vehicles on the side of a road during or after heavy snowfall. The town's snow removal regulations state that no cars should be on the road during a snowstorm, or 12 hours after one.
"We understand that you got to move your vehicle out of the driveway to plow your driveway," says Sampson In saying that, if you're out there clearing your driveway and you see a snowplow coming, get in your vehicle and move it so the plow can go by and plow the street and continue on, no one's got a problem with that. The issue that we get with vehicles is people come home, they leave their vehicles on the road all night."
Sampson says no vehicles have been hit by a snowplow, so far, this winter. But last winter he recalled a few instances where that happened. But a car getting hit by plows is only one of the hazards that are caused by vehicles being left on the road.
"It's not only dangerous to get your vehicle beat up, but every time that the snowplow has to go around a vehicle, we create one lane. So we got one lane open. If we're in a big snowstorm, one lane is not enough," says Sampson.
According to Frank Brown, when vehicles are left on the road during a snowstorm, it prevents snowplow operators from properly clearing the road.
"It can make it impossible for the operators to clear the road," says Brown. "Because there's a long area leading to the vehicle and a long area leading away from the vehicle that doesn't get cleared properly...that can obviously lead to some safety concerns."
During the next snowstorm, residents may want to make sure that their vehicles aren't blocking the path of a snowplow. Otherwise, they may get a fine over $100, or risk having their vehicle towed.