A mailbox installation or support on a public highway that does not meet the breakaway and location standards contained in rules adopted under subdivision 2 is declared to be a public nuisance, a road hazard, and a danger to the health and safety of the traveling public.
The commissioner shall by January 1, 1993, adopt rules that provide for standards and permissible locations of mailbox installations and supports on a street or highway. The commissioner shall base the rules substantially on federal highway administration regulations or recommendations, or other national standards or recommendations regarding the location and construction of safe, breakaway mailbox installations or supports. In adopting the rules, the commissioner shall consider the safety of the traveling public relative to the convenience and expense of owners of nonconforming mailbox installations or supports. The commissioner may provide for alternative standards to allow variances from the rules.
(a) After adoption of the rules authorized under subdivision 2, the commissioner or a road authority as defined in section 160.02, subdivision 25, may remove and replace a mailbox installation or support that is (1) located on a street or highway under the jurisdiction of the commissioner or road authority, and (2) does not conform to the rules adopted under subdivision 2. The commissioner or road authority may remove and replace a nonconforming mailbox installation or support not less than 60 days after giving notice, by personal notice or certified mail to the owner or the resident at the address served by the mailbox, of its intent to remove and replace the installation or support. The commissioner or road authority may charge the owner or resident not more than $75 for the cost of the removal and replacement.
(b) The notice must at a minimum:
(1) inform the owner of the nonconforming installation or support;
(2) inform the owner or resident of the applicable law and rules, including the rules that contain the standards for mailbox installations and supports on public streets and highways;
(3) inform the owner or resident that the owner or resident must remove the installation or support or bring it into compliance with the rules within 60 days of the date of the notice;
(4) inform the owner or resident of the applicable laws and rules and the standards for mailbox installations and supports on public streets and highways, and provide plans or diagrams of examples of conforming installations or supports;
(5) inform the owner or resident that if the nonconforming installation or support is not removed or replaced within 60 days of the date of the notice, the commissioner or road authority may remove and replace the installation or support at a cost of up to $75 to the owner or resident; and
(6) inform the owner or resident that where the replacement is made in conjunction with certain federally aided highway construction projects the replacement may be made at partial or no cost to the owner or resident.