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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 2761

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to transportation; requiring commissioner of transportation to adhere to
statewide snow removal standards on trunk highways; limiting closure of trunk
highways; prohibiting use of flashing lights; limiting commissioner's right to
civil damages for rescue; reclassifying crime of passing barricade on closed trunk
highway as petty misdemeanor; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections
160.27, subdivisions 8, 9; 160.2715.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 160.27, subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Trunk highway closure; authority, notice, civil penalty.

(a) The
commissioner may restrict the use of, or close, any state trunk highway for the protection
and safety of the public or for the protection of the highway from damage during and after
storms if there is danger of the road becoming impassable or if visibility is so limited that
safe travel is unlikely.new text begin The commissioner may not restrict the use of or close a trunk
highway under this paragraph beyond the expiration of the target range of time for snow
removal established by the department. All roads with the same functional classification
must be subject to the same target range for snow removal, regardless of the location of
the road within the state.
new text end

(b) To notify the public that a trunk highway is closed or its use restricted, the
commissioner new text beginmay not utilize signs with flashing lights, but new text endshall give notice by one or
more of the following methods:

(1) erect suitable barriers or obstructions on the highway;

(2) post warnings or notices of the closing or restricting of a trunk highway;

(3) place signs to warn, detour, direct, or otherwise control traffic on the highway; or

(4) place personnel to warn, detour, direct, or otherwise control traffic on the
highway.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 160.27, subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Trunk highway closure; liability for rescue costs.

(a) A person is
civilly liable for rescue costs if the person (1) fails to obey the direction or instruction of
authorized personnel at the location of the closed highway, or (2) drives over, through,
or around a barricade, fence, or obstruction erected to prevent traffic from passing over
a portion of a highway closed to public travel. "Civilly liable for rescue costs" means
that the person is liable to a state agency or political subdivision for costs incurred for
the purpose of rescuing the person, any passengers, or the vehicle. Civil liability may be
imposed under this subdivision in addition to the new text beginpettynew text end misdemeanor penalty imposed
under section 160.2715. However, civil liability must not exceed $10,000. A fine paid
by a defendant in a misdemeanor action that arose from the same violation may not be
applied toward payment of the civil liability imposed under this subdivision.

(b) A state agency or political subdivision that incurs costs as described in paragraph
(a) may bring an action to recover the civil liability and related legal, administrative, and
court costs. A civil action may be commenced as is any civil action.

new text begin (c) A civil action may be maintained by a state agency or political subdivision for
rescue costs following a snowstorm only if snow was removed and the trunk highway
reopened within the target range of time for snow removal established by the department
for the highway's functional classification.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 160.2715, is amended to read:


160.2715 RIGHT-OF-WAY USE; MISDEMEANORS.

(a) Except for the actions of the road authorities, their agents, employees,
contractors, and utilities in carrying out their duties imposed by law or contract, and
except as herein provided, it shall be unlawful to:

(1) obstruct any highway or deposit snow or ice thereon;

(2) plow or perform any other detrimental operation within the road right-of-way
except in the preparation of the land for planting permanent vegetative cover or as
authorized under section 160.232;

(3) erect a fence on the right-of-way of a trunk highway, county state-aid highway,
county highway, or town road, except to erect a lane fence to the ends of a livestock pass;

(4) erect or reconstruct driveway headwalls in or on the right-of-way of a highway
or road, except as may be allowed by permit from the road authority imposing reasonable
regulations as are necessary to prevent interference with the construction, maintenance,
and safe use of the highway or road and its appurtenances;

(5) dig any holes in any highway, except to locate markers placed to identify
sectional corner positions and private boundary corners;

(6) remove any earth, gravel, or rock from any highway;

(7) obstruct any ditch draining any highway or drain any noisome materials into
any ditch;

(8) place or maintain any building or structure within the limits of any highway;

(9) place or maintain any advertisement within the limits of any highway, except as
provided in section 160.27, subdivision 7;

(10) paint, print, place, or affix any advertisement or any object within the limits of
any highway, except as provided in section 160.27, subdivision 7;

(11) deface, mar, damage, or tamper with any structure, work, material, equipment,
tools, signs, markers, signals, paving, guardrails, drains, or any other highway
appurtenance on or along any highway;

(12) remove, injure, displace, or destroy right-of-way markers, or reference or
witness monuments, or markers placed to preserve section or quarter-section corners;

(13) improperly place or fail to place warning signs and detour signs as provided by
law;

(14) drive over, through, or around any barricade, fence, or obstruction erected for
the purpose of preventing traffic from passing over a portion of a highway closed to public
travel or to remove, deface, or damage any such barricade, fence, or obstruction.

(b) Any violation of this section is a misdemeanornew text begin, except that a violation of
paragraph (a), clause (14), that consists of driving over, through, or around a barricade,
fence, or obstruction on a trunk highway closed following a snowstorm is a petty
misdemeanor
new text end.