While the official start of winter is still a few weeks
away, we all know an arctic blast could be just a forecast away. That’s why an
area city is looking to get the word out now; Clear your sidewalks or face a
When it comes to keeping your sidewalk clear of snow and
ice, the responsibility is yours. It all comes down to the legal term of premises
liability. This basically means a property owner is responsible for keeping their
property safe. So if a visitor falls because you didn’t clear a path, you could
be responsible for their medical costs.
On top of that, cities often have their own codes which can
attach a fine if you are found to be in violation. The Public Works Division of
the City of Idaho Falls has some proposed fee increases for people who violate
their code and this will be discussed at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Paul Hathaway of the Idaho Falls Street Department says it
would really help if people would just take the time to clear these passage
“It would be nice if they did go out and clear it because it
would keep the pedestrians off the roads,” said Hathaway. “When the roads are
slick, it’s hard for the traffic and cars to maneuver around people and we have
school kids, and people who still like to get out and get around in the winter
time. It would be nice for them to stay on the sidewalks and be safe.”
If you rent, the responsibility may be yours or it could be
your landlord’s. It all depends on your lease agreement.
You can read more about this at this