This time two years ago the snow banks were high and it might have been excusable if snowplows took out a mailbox or two in the run of their duties. Richard Farrow knows. He started using a bucket for a mailbox at his Tyndal Road home after losing his to what he was told was circumstance.
When 2018 started, however, there were only a few inches of snow the plow had to tidy up, yet his mailbox was struck by the passing plow and it landed over the bank into a pile of brush.
“I'm getting a little p----- off. I am," Farrow said. “I’m 73-years-old now and I can’t be crawling over the bank. What I had to do this time, I found out where the mailbox was, went to the garage and got a piece of rope, crawled down over the bank, hooked on to it and hauled it back up to the house.”
Compounding his frustrations, Farrow painted the mailbox and a hardy tree stump he uses as a stand bright red to make the box more noticeable. He also hammered two heavy gauge metal rods into the ground to protect the box. Despite his best efforts, the box was clipped.
Farrow wants to fix his banged-up mailbox and put it back, but he doesn’t think it will go unmolested.
Instead, he’s nailed a plastic kitty litter container to the bright red tree stump. For now, it works.
Farrow thinks he knows the culprit who’s clipping his mailbox personally. It's a familiar story: two fellas who once got along now have bad blood came between them.
Farrow feels he is in a tough spot. Provincial plow operators are protected from the consequences of striking mailboxes during the function of their duties. When we interviewed Farrow in 2015 we learned from the province’s director for the Dept. Of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal [TIR] plow operators are not responsible for anything within the provincial right of way. Accidents happen, and when they do owners are advised to call the local branch office.
Media relation advisors for the department were contacted on the matter, and echoed anyone with damage to their mailboxes should contact the department.
“Keeping our roads safe is our department’s top priority. While clearing the roads, operators make every effort to keep themselves, other drivers and the private property of residents safe and secure,” Marla MacInnis wrote the Amherst News.
If there has been damage to personal property and it looks like it was by TIR equipment, people are encouraged to call t 1-844-696-7737 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“That being said, in general, the province is not responsible for damage to any item in the right of way near the road, this includes objects typically within 33 feet from the centerline of provincial roads,” MacInnis wrote. “This is laid out in the Public Highways Act.”
MacInnis did not address Farrow’s ongoing problems in her reply.
Farrow says he’s contacted the department repeatedly, but that hasn’t changed the fact he’s using a litter bucket for a mailbox.
“I’m the only one this road that got hit that I can figure.”