You should be certain ways

Obligation to evacuate: Obligation to litter and clear snow: This is what residents need to know

It happens within a few moments: One second you're still on the way to shopping or taking a walk, the next you're lying on the sidewalk. Again and again people fall on snow-covered and slippery footpaths. Most of the time, the fall is mild, but what happens if something worse happens? What is the guilt of the residents who have to leave the road? And when does he actually have to clear the sidewalks? We have summarized the most important duties and rights around snow clearing, because most municipalities use a model ordinance.

Who is responsible for clearing and littering?

In principle, each community is responsible for clearing and spreading. However, they can transfer these duties to the owners through the municipal statutes. Almost all municipalities do that too - for cost reasons. The owner can, however, pass on the obligation to clear and litter. To a caretaker service or the tenant. However, this must be expressly regulated in the rental agreement.

Who clears when they are absent?

The legal situation is clear: if you cannot comply with the eviction obligation, you have to find a substitute - regardless of whether you are at work, on vacation, sick or physically unable to do so. Anyone who finds a helpful neighbor is in luck. In an emergency, a temporary worker or a caretaker service must be hired.

What has to be cleared?

It is clear that the sidewalk must be cleared of snow. And over a width of at least one meter. This is the only way for two pedestrians to pass each other without any problems. If there is no sidewalk, another one meter wide strip on the side of the road must be cleared. Because the pedestrians have to be able to walk somewhere in order not to sink ankle-deep in the snow. In addition to the sidewalk, residents also have to clear and scatter the main entrance, the path to the garbage cans, parking spaces and garages.

What happens when the community covers the footpath with snow again?

Many residents keep complaining to the community about their snow plows. These cover the shoveled sidewalks with snow again and again when clearing. This is annoying, because then the resident has to pick up the shovel again.

What to do with all the snow

Basically, the snow must be pushed onto your own property. The snow is only allowed to go to the neighbor if he agrees to it. Otherwise there will be trouble quickly. Many people simply push the snow onto the road. But that is forbidden, otherwise traffic will be impaired. Violations constitute an administrative offense. In an emergency, residents have to cart the snow to special storage areas that are designated by the municipalities. The town halls provide information on where such a place can be found in the respective municipality.

Obligation to evacuate and litter: When do you have to evacuate?

The compulsory litter and evacuation is on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays from 8 a.m. Within this period of time, the sidewalks must be cleared and strewn in such a way that no pedestrian slips. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.

For example, innkeepers must always ensure that there are clear walkways during opening hours. The same goes for property owners who know that passers-by will enter their property earlier. They also have to vacate earlier, otherwise they can be held liable. In a ruling by the Koblenz Higher Regional Court, an employee of a butcher's shop fell shortly before 5 a.m. in front of the company gate. Since her start of work was at 5 a.m., the employer had violated his duty to maintain safety.

If only individuals or the newspaper deliverer are out and about in front of a private property, it does not have to be vacated before 7 a.m.

How often do you have to evacuate?

The good news first: Nobody has to stand outside with a shovel all day and remove every snowflake from the sidewalk. According to the Federal Court of Justice, residents do not have to evacuate continuously if the path is covered again anyway due to continuous snowfall. The judges argue that this is unreasonable. However, evacuation must be carried out as often as is necessary to "prevent danger to life, health, property or property," says the municipal ordinances.

Which grit can be used?

Sand, grit and ash are recommended by the municipalities. In almost all municipalities, road salt is only allowed in exceptional situations. And in places where there is an increased risk. This can be stairs or extreme inclines, for example. Otherwise, road salt is prohibited because the salt ions are harmful to the plants. Anyone caught sprinkling salt as a private person must expect high fines.

What if the sidewalk is not cleared?

Municipalities check randomly whether the guidelines are being adhered to or investigate complaints from residents. Anyone who does not adhere to them then receives a letter from the congregation. Anyone who continues to refuse to clear the path will be fined. That is then up to 1000 euros.

What happens after an accident?

If a pedestrian falls on an unsurfaced or uncleared path and injures himself, he is entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Normally, the culprit's liability insurance takes over. It can be really expensive for those who do not have private liability insurance. In addition to the treatment costs, the injured party can also sue for loss of earnings or compensation for pain and suffering in court. In the case of homeowners, building liability covers claims for damages due to sidewalk accidents. Very important: An accident must always be reported to the insurance company. If not, the case can go to the criminal court.

And what are the duties of the church?

Every municipality is obliged to carry out winter road clearance within the village - with some restrictions. These are listed in detail in the Bavarian Road and Road Act. There is therefore only an obligation to clear and litter at road locations that are important for traffic and at the same time dangerous. Local thoroughfares on federal, state and district roads, local main roads and large thoroughfares are assessed as being important for traffic. In the case of smaller communities, this applies to local transport points such as the town center, market square and main intersection. There is also no obligation to spread all roads when it is slippery. The roads don't have to be in perfect condition, they just have to be made safe for traffic. With the beginning of the main occupation. Usually from 7 a.m. The eviction obligation ends - as with private individuals - at 8 p.m.

Outside of built-up areas, either the municipality, the district or the state are responsible for the obligation to litter and evacuate - depending on who owns the street. Here, too, important and dangerous areas must be kept free for traffic.

The municipality must draw up a clearing and spreading plan as well as a deployment plan. In addition, she must keep a scatter book with weather records. Bus stops and other public facilities where there is heavy pedestrian traffic regularly or at certain times should also be preferably cleared. In cemeteries, on the other hand, only the main roads have to be cleared. Outside built-up areas, the municipality has no obligation to clear or litter on footpaths.

If the clearing of sidewalks has been delegated to citizens, these ordinances are only valid for a maximum of 20 years. After that it will expire automatically. If no new ordinance is issued, the obligation to clear falls back on the municipality.

What are the requirements of motorists?

After an accident on an uncleared road at night, motorists cannot claim compensation from the evacuation authority. A complete safety of the roads in winter cannot be achieved with reasonable means and therefore cannot be demanded, according to a judgment of the Bamberg Higher Regional Court.

Editor's note: This article is a contribution from our online archive.