Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed Oct. 19, 2013 as the annual “Shake Your Mailbox Day” in Michigan. Shake Your Mailbox Day is a joint effort of the Washtenaw County Road Commission and the United States Postal Service designated to get the public involved in proactive mailbox maintenance.
Record snowfall in recent winters has led to an increase in the number of mailboxes damaged by heavy snow thrown from passing plows. Many of the mailboxes damaged by winter snow removal have become loose or in need of repair following years of use.
Road agencies recognize damage to mail receptacles is an inconvenience to residents and are seeking to minimize the impact by encouraging preventative maintenance.
Although the Road Commission, the Michigan Department of Transportation and many local road agencies have policies for addressing mailboxes clearly damaged during winter maintenance operations, these policies vary by jurisdiction.
What Should Residents Do?
- Residents should prepare mailboxes for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and receptacle are secure enough to endure large amounts of thrown snow.
- If the mailbox moves when shaken, this is likely an indication the mailbox and/or post may not withstand standard snow removal operations and should be repaired or replaced prior to the onset of winter.
- Mailboxes are one of the only objects allowed by law to be placed in the road right-of-way, and the location and construction of mailboxes must conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service, policies of the Road Commission and standards established by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in “A Guide for Erecting Mailboxes on Highways.”