Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Amendments to the Minimum Maintenance Standards - Part 5

This week we continue our review of the amendments to the Minimum Maintenance Standards, which came into effect on January 25, 2013.

Part 5:  New Ice Formation and Icy Roadways Standard
The MMS previously required municipalities to treat icy roadways within a prescribed time after becoming aware that the road was icy.  This remains the standard for roads that have become icy but is now part of a larger, more comprehensive standard for ice prevention and treatment. 
The standard for prevention of ice formation requires municipalities to monitor the weather and patrol as described above.  If, as a result of these activities, a municipality determines that there is a substantial probability of ice forming on a roadway, it must treat the road to prevent ice formation within a specified time, starting from the time it determines is appropriate to deploy resources for that purpose.  Treating a road means applying material, including but not limited to salt, sand or a combination. 
The ice prevention standard provides that roads are deemed to be in a state of repair until the time that the municipality becomes aware that the roadway is icy or the applicable time for ice prevention expires, whichever is earlier.  This should be read in conjunction with the constructive knowledge provision.  The icy roadways standard has also been amended to provide that roads are deemed to be in a state of repair until the applicable time for treatment expires.
As with the snow accumulation standard, the ice prevention standard is a response to the narrow interpretation of the icy roadways standard in Giuliani.  The discretion afforded to municipalities to determine when to deploy resources to prevent ice formation may be subject to challenge in future claims.  Nonetheless, compliance with the standard will assist in defending claims where it is alleged that a municipality failed to anticipate icy road conditions.

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