New Jersey state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) has got a problem with municipal and contracted snow plow operators who push snow into driveway openings after they have been cleared or speed along snowy streets and risking striking pedestrians. The senator said Friday his office has received numerous complaints about the problems from constituents in Belleville, Bloomfield, Irvington and Newark’s West, South and Central wards. As a result, Rice said he will introduce legislation prohibiting contractors and snow plow operators from blocking driveways that have already been cleared and crackdown on drivers who speed.
“This is a matter of public safety,” he said. “Shoveling snow is strenuous activity, but when combined with the amount of snow we have gotten recently, and the fact that many of our senior citizens are forced to clear their own sidewalks and driveways, it can prove to be downright dangerous. My district office has received numerous complaints about the issue, and these snow plow operators need to know that they can’t block people’s driveways when clearing snow.
“We all know how long it takes to dig out a car after a snowstorm,” Rice added. “Consider what would happen in an emergency situation, when a person thinks his or her driveway is clear, after spending hours shoveling, only to come out in a hurry and find it blocked.
The legislation is expected to be referred to the Senate Transportation Committee when introduced. NJN