PennDOT reminds residents living along rural state and local roads that now is the time to prepare mailboxes for the winter months. Snow thrown from plows can easily damage mailboxes that are not prepared.
Mailboxes are normally placed within the state's legal right-of-way; however, mailbox damage is the responsibility of the property owner.
If a mailbox is placed as far from the edge of the road as the carrier can reach from a vehicle and the mailbox is placed on a sturdy support, it should be able to withstand the force of snow thrown from a plow.
PennDOT offers these tips to help reduce the risk of mailbox damage:
Place a 6- to 8-inch piece of reflective tape on the mailbox to help snow plow operators see it at night.
Remove snow from around the mailbox, but never throw it back onto the road.
If the mailbox is located within the legal right-of-way and damage was experienced in the past, homeowners may want to consider repositioning the mailbox.
Homeowners who have followed these tips in the past and have still experienced mailbox damage may wish to consider installing a cantilevered mailbox support that will swing a mailbox out of harm's way.
Visit www.dot.state.pa.us  for a copy of plans for a cantilever mailbox support.
Contact your local post office for more information about how to correctly position a mailbox.