SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Snow is finally on the way to San Bernardino County, and visitors to ski resorts and other designated winter recreation sites are welcome. However, those who play in the snow by the roadway or in front of private homes? Not so much.
In fact, during this winter season, snow play on the roadway will be greeted by fines of up to $150 or more, tow-aways, and other sanctions.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force during and after winter storms to actively enforce no snow play on the roadway regulations.
“Don’t let what you’ve planned as a family fun day end up with your kids watching mom and dad getting in trouble with the law,” said Col. Paul Cook (Ret.), a County supervisor representing the First District, which includes the mountain community of Wrightwood.
Snow play on the roadway is illegal in San Bernardino County mountain communities for very good reasons, most of them related to safety.
“Our snow-capped mountains are beautiful from a distance,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Dawn Rowe, whose Third District includes Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountain communities. “But up close, after a storm, our mountain roads are very treacherous and require drivers to exercise a great deal of caution to avoid injury and even death.”
Narrow mountain roads can become dangerously crowded during and after winter storms as motorists stop to deal with snow chains, vehicle breakdowns, and minor accidents. Invisible patches of ice make it impossible for drivers to stop in time to avoid hitting the cars in front of them, a child whose sled has shot out onto the middle of the road, or guard rails positioned over high and steep cliffs.
Not stopping for snow play on the roadway or in front of homes is also about being a good neighbor.
“Unfortunately, some people who come to play in the snow also leave behind ripped trash bags, dirty diapers, broken sleds, left-over food, and other trash,” said Supervisor Janice Rutherford, whose Second District includes the Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, and Running Springs areas. “No one wants this happening in front of their homes or elsewhere in their community.”
So, while residents throughout Southern California are welcome in San Bernardino County’s beautiful mountains, the county urges everyone to pay attention to no-parking signs, be prepared for hazardous driving conditions, play only in designated recreation areas, and be considerate of those who live in these communities. The price for not doing so will be steep.
Also, motorists are advised not to approach the mountains without snow chains. If conditions call for chains, law enforcement will not allow vehicles to proceed without them.