MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Snow bank or road block? As the white stuff stacks up, it is cutting off vision lines for drivers and causing crashes.
WCCO-TV went along as police deliver a message about the safest way to get around with those mountains of snow blocking our view.
Pulling out from an intersection or driveway has turned into a game of chicken in the last two days — one that a woman in Eagan lost Thursday morning.
“The way she decided to proceed forward was just kind of to gun it. The timing was bad and she ended up colliding with another vehicle,” Officer Aaron Machtemes said.
Luckily, that collision wasn’t serious. But as the snow piles up, Eagan police are reminding drivers of the right way to navigate our record-breaking February snowbanks.
First, don’t rely on your peripheral vision to be of any help.
“The really need to kind of nose out and look at these uncontrolled intersections,” Machtemes said.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told WCCO-TV that as soon as the snow stops falling, sight lines will become the top priority.
Two-hundred plows hit Twin Cities highways on Thursday alone, with side-arm plows and tractors targeting trouble intersections.
“We actually see a lot of crashes on nice sunny days because people feel comfortable,” Machtemes said.
He used the day to stop drivers on main roads going too fast, like one woman who admitted she couldn’t see the squad at all as she drove by.
“That’s another reason you have to go the speed limit, especially with these snow banks around here,” Machtemes said. “If I was pulling out to go somewhere, you could have easily run into me.”
Machtemes let her off with a warning this time, as a spring melt is nowhere in sight.
“This is going to continue to be a problem for drivers to be able to see clearly,” he said.
WCCO-TV checked and found that no ordinance exists in Minneapolis or St Paul concerning high snowbanks, so you can’t get in trouble for how high they might get. But snow crews say once temps are above freezing, it’s not a bad idea to knock some off the top if you’re able to do so.