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5 surprising winter laws


In some locations across the country, there are different winter-related laws or ordinances that can catch even the most diligent law-abiding citizens by surprise.

Simple winter activities such as shoveling a sidewalk, throwing snowballs or even warming up a car could result in some unexpected citations depending on the different legislation in place for a township or municipality.

Here are five surprising ways people can get in trouble with the law during the winter season.

People can be charged with a misdemeanor for throwing snowballs in Provo, Utah

Residents who want to have a good-natured snowball fight among friends may want to aim carefully when inside the Provo city limits.

A city ordinance restricts residents from using a snowball, or any other object that could be labeled as a missile, to inflict harm or damage property of others.

“Every person who shall willfully or carelessly within the limits of this city throw any stone, stick, snowball or other missile whereby any person shall be hit, or any window broken or other property injured or destroyed or in such manner as to render travel upon the public streets and places of the city dangerous, or in such a manner as to frighten or annoy any traveler, is guilty of a misdemeanor,” the ordinance states.

Michigan resident ticketed for warming up his car

Many people choose to let their cars warm up on extremely cold mornings, but in one Michigan town, letting your car idle, even on your own property, can result in a fine.

Nick Taylor, 24, of Roseville, Michigan, received a $128 ticket in January 2017 after he left his car running unattended for several minutes in the driveway at his girlfriend’s house, according to Fox 2 in Detroit.

While Michigan has no state law that prohibits people from warming up their vehicles, some Michigan cities like Roseville do have local ordinances.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said it was matter of public safety and the problem was that Taylor had left the keys in the ignition.

"This is purely a public safety issue. You can't do it. You see it all the time; people hop in a running car and steal them. Something bad happens when that occurs," Berlin told Fox 2.

philly snowstorm

A girl shovels snow during a winter storm, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Saving parking spots on snow-covered streets is illegal in Philadelphia

Shoveling out parking spaces and saving them with household items on the narrow neighborhood streets of Philadelphia has been a time-honored tradition during the winter.

Residents have been known to use an array of peculiar objects, from toilets and traffic cones to law chairs, to claim their valuable parking space.

What has also become a bit of a tradition is the Philadelphia Police Department offering residents a friendly reminder that there are “no savesies” when it comes to parking.

The department has even created its own ‘No Savesies’ campaign and stresses that this is a way to mediate parking disputes so people don't get into fights or commit acts of vandalism.

“Folks, the street does not belong to you, and saving spots is illegal,” the police department said on its Facebook page in January 2017. "Please don't get into an argument with another person over a parking spot. If you see someone saving a spot, just give us a call and we'll take care of it."

Idaho man cited for clearing his street of snow

Following a snowstorm that hit Pocatello, Idaho, around Christmas 2016, resident Mitch Fisher went out on his ATV to help plow snow from the sidewalk and streets to help his neighbors.

However, it was later reported that a Pocatello police officer cited Fisher for an infraction for "placing or depositing material on a public right of way" which meant the street he cleared the snow onto, according to Local News 8 in Idaho Falls.

The citation came with a cost of more than $200, but Fisher said he would contest the ticket and it wouldn't stop his snow-removing efforts.


Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand later said in a statement that it was a safety issue for drivers on the road.

"I have directed officers who are investigating complaints or who observe people moving snow from private property into city streets to issue citations if the citizens do not want to comply with the ordinance," he said.

When skiing in Nevada, don't throw or drop items off a chairlift

A skier or snowboarder looking to hit the slopes in Nevada would be wise to avoid horseplay around or on a chairlift.

That's because tossing items off a ski lift is strictly prohibited in the state.

A section of Nevada Revised Statute 455A.100, listed under a chapter titled "Safety of Participants in Outdoor Sports," states that skiers or snowboarders should not "toss, throw or cast or intentionally drop, expel or eject an object from a chair lift" or throw an object in the direction of a chair lift.