Around 350 building owners in Oslo have been hit with fines so far this winter, for failing to remove heavy snow and icicles from rooftops and gutters. They’re responsible for removing the threat of pedestrians getting hit in the head by snow clumps and ice.
There haven’t been any such accidents so far this winter, but there have been fatalities in earlier years. This winter has been especially harsh, with blizzards and wind dumping as much as 20 centimeters in a single day in downtown Oslo, and more in outlying areas.
Homeowners’ associations for residential buildings are among those held responsible for making sure that heavy snow and ice won’t fall off their rooftops and down to sidewalks and streets. Fines for not doing so amount to NOK 5,000 (USD 500). It’s not enough to rely on snow fences installed on roofs or warming cables within gutters, nor can building owners avoid responsibility by placing warning signs at street level.
“There’s a lot of snow in Oslo right now, and it’s difficult to remove it all,” Hanne Sofie Fremstad of the city’s public works agency told newspaper Dagsavisen. Snowplows have been running day and night, clearing and salting streets, with more snow and even rain forecast in the week ahead.