Has your mailbox ever been wiped out by a town or DOT snowplow? Messed up or mangled mailboxes line snowy streets all over Connecticut, but the percentage of mailboxes annihilated by snowplows is only about 1%.

There are three types of snowplows in Connecticut: Department of Transportation (DOT) plows, local town or city plows, and your independent driveway plow guy.

Who's financially responsible for your smashed mailbox if your plow guy drives one of those huge scary-looking DOT plows? According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, if a CT state DOT snowplow damages or destroys your mailbox, call 860-594-2084 and speak with a staff member.

In most cases, if a plow owned by the town knocks down your mailbox, there is no consistent rule regarding plows vs. mailboxes and who's to blame. Here's an example from the Town of Southbury.

The Town’s policy regarding mailboxes damaged during winter snow plowing operations is that it will replace mailboxes only if the mailbox was constructed with adequate clearance from the curb to allow the plow to safely pass, a mailbox set back at least 6-8 inches from the road and only if it was actually struck by the snow plow.

The Town of Ridgefield has a similar policy where the Town Highway Department foreman will come to your home to do a postmortem on your mailbox. If it's old and not structurally sound,  you're to blame, not the town. My advice would be to call your town's highway department or town hall and explain how your mailbox was demolished by a snow plow. The best of luck to you.

To be clear, I am not dumping on any of the Connecticut snowplow operators, whether they be town or state drivers. When I leave for the radio station at 5 AM, the main roads are always drivable. Lou and I always make it a point to give the hardworking plow guys a shout out on those nasty winter mornings.

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