Ask a trooper: Tow driver, road authorities responsible for cleaning up crash debrisE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: Who is legally responsible for cleaning up crash debris such as window glass, reflector plastic and small chunks? So many times nothing is cleaned up and left to the passing cars and rain to wash the roadway.
A: If you mean after a crash and on a roadway, the wrecker service is responsible if a tow is involved. If a tow did not get called to the crash, then the road authority (county highway or MnDOT, etc.) becomes responsible. In all other non-crash situations, people who litter are rejecting their civic and moral responsibilities and are forcing it onto the road authorities or the “Adopt A Highway” clean-up crews to be responsible to clean up after them. As a trooper, I have cleaned up numerous times while at the scene of a crash, or at least swept stuff aside so it was not as much of a road hazard until the road authorities could get
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.