Your Roadside Mailbox Could Be in Violation of Maine Law
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Roadside mailboxes are as common in Maine as pine trees. I grew up on a street where our home and all the others on our street, had mailboxes at our doors, and as a young kid, I just thought that's the way it was done. Since then, every house I've lived in has had a roadside mailbox, making it easy for postal workers to pull up and drop off the mail without having to get out of the truck.
I also learned when replacing my mailbox, that there are a lot of things you need to do to make it compliant with the United States Postal Service. They have guidelines on the height, distance from the road, and how deep to bury the post in the ground. But beyond that, the State of Maine has one requirement for the post of your mailbox that is actually part of Maine State Law, and I've surprisingly seen lots of mailboxes in violation of this law.
According to the Maine DOT, your mailbox post could be considered a deadly fixed object based on the material it is made out of. Wood posts are best because if a car hits it, it will break away. However, posts made of concrete, masonry, stone, or heavy steel can be deadly if a car should hit them in an accident.
This is covered under Maine Law 23 MRSA §1401-A, but if you have one of these types of posts, you won't get fined. If the Maine DOT notices it, they'll request you remove it and mount your mailbox on a post that complies with Maine law. If you don't remove it, they'll do it themselves and could charge you for the cost or removal.
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