Scottville, Mich. – Mason County Road Commission (MCRC) asks residents to prepare for winter by shaking their mailbox yet this month.
“A mailbox is the only object allowed by law that homeowners can place in the road right-of-way. The location and construction of mailboxes must conform to the rules and regulations of the United States Postal Service and nationwide standards established by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials,” said MCRC Manager / Director Wayne Schoonover.
Over the years, a mailbox post can rot or become wobbly. By grabbing and shaking it, a resident can know if it’s secure. Snow coming off a plow going 35 miles per hour has a surprising amount of force and digging a mailbox out and reinstalling it in frozen ground is difficult.
“Our number-one job is to maintain a safe and efficient road and right-of-way system,” Schoonover said. “Responsibility for ensuring a mailbox is strong, goes to the resident.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Mason County Road Commission have policies in place regarding replacement of mailboxes that have obviously been hit by a snowplow. However, road agencies are not responsible for mailbox damage caused by standard snow removal operations. The road commission does have some important advice for residents.
Residents should prepare mailboxes for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and box are secure enough to endure large amounts of snow that is thrown. If the mailbox moves when shaken, the box may need to be repaired or replaced before winter.
Damage to posts and receptacles can often be prevented by proper routine maintenance.