Clear the way for winter safety

by Susan Melnyk
Contributing writer

Local German authorities and the Vogelweh Housing Office would like to remind everyone of the importance of clearing sidewalks and walkways once the snow begins to fall. Homeowners and renters in military housing and in the German community are responsible for clearing sidewalks, walkways, fire hydrants, stairs, and parking spaces of snow by 7 a.m. each day. In the case of a snow storm, snow must be cleared within an hour of the snow ending, up until 8 p.m. 

Snow must not be pushed out onto the street and care should be taken so that snow piles do not obstruct drivers’ views, especially upon exiting driveways or at street corners. If you live in military housing and plan to be away for any your vehicles are off the street to allow snow removal equipment to safely clear the streets during your absence.
German regulations on salt vary from town to town, but generally, if ice is evident after snow is removed, gravel or salt must be added to sidewalks to prevent schoolchildren and other pedestrians from slipping. U-Fix-It-Stores on base provide non-skid grit to military housing residents and those living off base can purchase salt and sand from local hardware stores and gas stations.

Although a hazard to drivers, a pile of snow often looks like a mountain of fun for children. Now is an excellent time to talk to them about the dangers of playing in snow piles near roadways and in parking lots. Finding them safe, traffic-free areas for sledding and fort-building ensures fun for all.

The American German Community Association would also like to remind you that German law requires winter or all-weather tires to be installed on your car. Check out the winter driving story on the next page for more information.

Keeping sidewalks clear, putting on winter tires and talking to our children about winter safety are all simple ways we can ensure everyone enjoys the season, both on the roads and at home.