Illegal Mailboxes?

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In coming weeks, many residents along state highways will receive a special notice, alerting them that they must remove their mailboxes. It sounds amazing, but some are apparently illegal. This is due to safety concerns about dangers that mailbox enclosed by bricks can pose.

"It also would apply to something that was heavy masonry or heavy steel," said Gary McDill of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. "You've noted wagon wheels, plows, heavy metal structures, anything such as that will pose a threat to safety."

According to MDOT, such immovable structures pose a significant threat to the traveling public.

"In Mississippi we haven't had any reports of fatalities or serious injuries from vehicles running off the road and colliding with mailboxes, although there have been reports from other states of serious injuries and even some fatalities with vehicles colliding with structures such as these," McDill said.

While some notices have already started to be sent, residents who will be affected in Lauderdale County should get their notices within the next two weeks and then have 45 days from that point to comply or face legal action.

To comply, residents are asked to replace the mailboxes with another that is on either a four by four wooden post, a small diameter metal pipe, a metal "T" pipe, or on a three or four inch PVC or plastic pipe.

"We want them to realize that we're doing this strictly in the interests of public safety," said McDill. "We want to reduce injuries and save lives and that's what MDOT is all about."