Winter is here and it’s only a matter of time before snow and ice arrive in full force. While snow and ice can mean days off of work and school, cozying up by a warm fire and hot chocolates, it also means having to shovel sidewalks and driveways. Yes, you can be held liable for any slip and fall accidents that happen on your property if you fail to comply with your state, county AND city laws. Let’s take a look at the laws below to help you prepare for winter weather.
It is important to note that in addition to fines from your local government, you are also leaving yourself open to lawsuits if an individual were to slip and fall on your property as a result of your not properly clearing snow and ice from public walkways.
Prince George’s County: Residents and businesses must clear their sidewalks on/surrounding their property within 48 hours after the snowfall. Failure to comply could result in a $100 fine. For further information, check out Prince George’s County website.
Montgomery County: Residents and businesses must clear sidewalks on/surrounding their property within 24 hours after a snowstorm ends. In addition to this, there are some cities which have their own rules. For instance, Takoma Park residents must clear sidewalks before 7pm on the day of the snowfall. For a full list of laws surrounding Montgomery county and the encompassing cities, check out the Montgomery County website. Failure to abide by these laws is a Class C violation that could result in a $50 fine.
City of Laurel: Residents and Businesses must clear sidewalks on/surrounding their property within 12 hours after the cessation of snowfall. Failure to comply with this regulation may result in a fine. For more information, check out the City of Laurel’s website.
Howard County: Residents and businesses must clear sidewalks on/surrounding their property within 48 hours after a snowstorm ends. Failure to comply may result in the issuance of a citation. For more information, check out Howard County’s website.
Anne Arundel County: Residents and businesses must clear sidewalks on/surrounding their property within six hours after a snowstorm ends, unless the snow falls overnight, in which case they have until 11AM the following day. Failure to comply may result in the issuance of a citation. For more information, check out Anne Arundel County’s website.
*For any counties not listed, check with your local government for laws pertaining to your particular location.
Washington D.C. Snow Removal Laws
Residents and business owners in Washington, D.C. have 8 daylight hours to remove snow from sidewalks and handicap ramps. In addition to costs the city spends to clear space, an additional $25 citation can be issued for failure to remove snow and ice from property within 24 hours after snow or ice has accumulated. Commercial property owners can face a steeper citation of up to $150 for failure to comply with snow removal regulations.
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