The other day I was heading into work on a snow covered New York State roadway.  Soon I found myself approaching a snow plow who seemed to have no problem driving right through the stop sign and the red light ahead. Are they allowed to do that?

In the video above, a snow plow hit a driver in Bay City, Michigan after running a red light and most likely WON'T be ticketed.

In this video from the NYSDOT, you'll see a plow travel through a stop sign while only slowing down. a snowplowing message board (who knew such a thing exists!) includes an article that appeared several years ago in the Syracuse Post-Standard:

A recent, and little-known, state regulation says operators of municipally owned emergency equipment, working under hazardous conditions, are not liable for damages unless they show "reckless disregard for the safety of others."

Section 1103b of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law exempts hazardous vehicles, such as snowplows, from the rules of the road as long as they're operated in a designated work area and the operator is not driving recklessly.

Madison County Highway Superintendent Joseph M. Slivinski said he doubts many motorists are aware of the law. He supports the concept, noting emergency vehicle operators operate under hazardous situations.

"If they operate with proper lights, signs and warning devices in a safe manner and are not showing a reckless disregard for safety, they should get that protection from liability," Slivinski said.

So beware winter weather drivers, that plow just might plow right into you if you don't give them the right of way...after all, they are much bigger.

[Syracuse Post Standard via]

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