WILLMAR -- Prompted by questions from the public about mailboxes damaged by snowplows, the Minnesota Department of Transportation issued a reminder Friday about requirements for mailboxes along state highways.
Owners are responsible for the care and replacement of damaged mailboxes, unless the mailbox is directly hit by a snowplow.
Mailboxes with damaged or worn latches should be replaced. Wind and heavy snow can cause a mailbox door to fall open if the latch isn't working properly.
Mailbox reflectors should be blue or clear. Motorists may confuse red and orange reflectors with vehicle tail lights, which could draw them toward the mailbox when visibility is limited.
Newspaper holders, chains and other types of ornamental displays under the mailbox add to the size and weight of the mailbox and limit room for plow clearance.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will follow up on all mailbox damage complaints. To report a mailbox hit by a snowplow along a state highway in southwestern Minnesota, call 507-537-6146 in Marshall, 320-234-8480 in Hutchinson or 320-231-5195 in Willmar.