Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, March 26, 2001

Question: I have been wondering what the book says about the use of the flashing light on the top of a pickup plowing snow. I have been told that we have to use them when we plow within 50 feet of the highway. Is this right?

Answer: You're almost right. 13AAC 04.095 states that when you are plowing snow and your vehicle moves onto, across or within 8 feet of a roadway, you are required to have a flashing yellow warning light visible in normal daylight in all directions for 500 feet. This is to notify oncoming traffic that there may be a slow moving vehicle in the roadway.

The same section also states you cannot use a flashing light if you are just driving down the road with normal traffic. Not having the light on while you are plowing is a correctable offense and will not cost you any points on your license. Driving with the flashing light on while you are not plowing snow is a $40 ticket and will cost you 2 points on your license.

While you are plowing snow, it also is good to remember that it is illegal to leave or divert snow, ice or water onto the roadway (mandatory court appearance for that one), and that you need two working auxiliary snow plow lights on your pickup unless your plow is clear and free of scratches or other obstructions.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

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