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Is it your civic duty to clear snow?

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posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 06:54 PM
I was made aware that a friends neighbour had been fined in the UK for gritting the paths outside their home and doing some general cleaning up of the snow ice.

For those that dont know what going in in the UK - take a look at this.

Anyway, I was shocked that you could get fined for helping out - but then this is the UK!

I done a little research and found this article on the BBC which is worth a read...

Local authorities in the UK are responsible for gritting and salting public roads and pavements, but what about your own path and the pavement in front of your home? Is it your civic duty to keep them clear for others?

Well, as the article states in europe (and I am sure USA, Canada) people have a duty to ensure the paths etc. are safe... everyone gets stuck in and helps to shift snow.

But no, not in the UK...

It's not the case in the UK. In fact, you are taking a theoretical legal risk if you clear the pavement in front of your home.
It's the local authority's responsibility to clear snow and ice from the public highway. By sweeping snow from one part of the pavement to another, if done in a manner that caused injury to someone, there is a chance legal action could be taken against you under the part of the law known as "tort of nuisance".

WOW - only in the UK!

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 07:01 PM
This kind of make sense to me in a wierd sort of way.

The towns want to make sure they are not liable for some Joe pushing their snow onto a public road and causing an accident. Since the towns are responsible for their own streets, someone pushing their snow on a public road turns "Joe's" snow into the towns snow.

Makes sense to me...although it does seem out of line to prohibit someone from tending to their own property.

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 07:06 PM
Here in Canada, it is your civic duty to shovel the sidewalk in front of your house.

A few years ago, an old lady got fined in my city because she hadn't shoveled her driveway in a week, and somebody complained to the city. She physically could not do it, and knew no one who could do it for her.

This caused a massive uproar in the city, with the lady even committing herself to jail time in protest, however some anonymous man ended up paying her fine.

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 07:07 PM
at my old house there was a city ordance that you could not sweep/plow snow from your driveways/sidewalks into the street....never knew the why of it.... but I do know if someone slips and falls on the ice in front of your home you can be sued for not doing something, even if its just putting down kitty litter... that is here in the US

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 07:36 PM
Same as in Canada. Always a good way for the neighbor hood kids to make some quick cash.

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 07:40 PM
Yes, this is true for the city ordinance (here)... one must clear the snow and/or ice from the sidewalks in front of their houses/businesses. This also goes for repairs, if needed. Got a crack in that sidewalk, it's on you.

posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 07:47 PM
If you can't shovel your snow the city will do it for you, but you will have to pay the bill for it.

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