Dash cam video shows snow plow damaging mailboxes

(WOOD)
(WOOD)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Dash camera footage of Calhoun County snowplow at work has some residents upset. They say snowplows are creating a reckless mess.

The video shows some mailboxes destroyed after a driver plow cleared a stretch of M-89.

The Calhoun County Road Department’s director of operations and managing director said their driver was not at fault.

“As you can see in the video, we’re not hitting the posts and colliding with the mailbox,” said Christopher Bolt, the managing director. “It’s really that off-shooting snow that causes the damage.”

Bolt said he wants everyone to be able to get their mail, but added that residents are supposed to routinely check that their mailbox is secure by shaking it.

“The wet, heavy snow [this past weekend] did some damage to some of the mailboxes that appeared to not be well mounted,” Bolt said.

Officials say their drivers are attentive on the road, but sometimes the heavy snow, human error or other circumstances result in damage.

“If there is, in fact, evidence that a plow has collided with a mailbox and that can be shown or proven, we give out a new replacement post and a new box,” Bolt explained.

The road department received 44 mailbox damage complaints last year. Seven complaints have come in so far this year.

Wednesday, there were still remnants of damaged mailboxes along M-89, where the video was filmed.

Snowplows, mailbox
Mailboxes damaged by snowplows in Battle Creek. (Dec. 14, 2016)

Some people in the neighborhood told 24 Hour News 8 they think snowplow drivers are going too fast for the work they’re doing.

“We hear that quite often,” Doug Steffen, the road department’s director of operations, said. “Those [snowplow] trucks are large and they’re loud and the blades are scraping against the pavement and they seem like they’re going faster than they are.”

Steffen pulled the GPS tracker info on the truck in the video and said it was going 29 mph, which is within the typical department protocol.

“99 percent of the boxes are not affected, but that 1 percent, we can understand that those residents are upset,” Bolt said.

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