Beverly Hills, Mich.The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) asked residents to prepare for winter by shaking their mailboxes. 

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has officially proclaimed Saturday, Oct. 23, as the 2nd annual ‘Shake Your Mailbox Day’ in Michigan.  Shake Your Mailbox Day is a cooperative effort of road commissions across the state and the U.S. Postal Service.

“Many homeowners have started the practice of changing batteries in smoke detectors when clocks are changed for daylight savings time,” said RCOC Chairman Richard Skarritt.  “In the same manner, Shake Your Mailbox Day reminds homeowners whose mailboxes are on posts adjacent to the road to prepare their mailboxes for winter.”

Shake Your Mailbox Day started in 2008 as the innovative idea of one county frustrated by residents’ complaints of damaged mailboxes after roads were cleared following heavy snow storms.  The County Road Association of Michigan (CRAM) and the U.S. Postal Service joined forces in 2009 for a statewide campaign.

“In most cases, the snowplow doesn’t actually hit the mailbox,” Skarritt said.  “The force of snow thrown from the roadway is enough to knock down a loose mailbox.  Damage to these posts and receptacles can be prevented by proper routine maintenance.”

Although RCOC has a policy in place regarding replacement of mailboxes that have clearly been hit by a snowplow, road agencies have never assumed responsibility for mailbox damage caused by standard snow-removal operations. 

“Taking time to tighten screws and secure mail receptacles now can prevent serious headaches later,” RCOC Vice Chairman Eric Wilson said.  “If the mailbox moves when shaken, the mailbox and/or post may not withstand standard snow removal operations and should be repaired or replaced prior to the onset of winter.”


RCOC and the U.S. Postal Service remind residents that this is also a good time to replace loose hinges on the mailbox door and to replace or add reflective house numbers to allow postal workers and emergency responders to easily find your home. 

Mailboxes are one of the only objects allowed by law to be placed in the road right-of-way. The location and construction of mailboxes must conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service and standards established by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in “A Guide for Erecting Mailboxes on Highways.”

“Each year we find mailboxes erected during the summer that pose a serious roadside hazard to motorists and a liability risk for homeowners,” stated RCOC Road Commission Board Member Greg Jamian.  “Although milk cans filled with concrete, brick structures and other substantial materials may be considered artistic, they present very real dangers.”

If you have questions on what is permitted, please contact the road commission. Residents can reach the Road Commission’s Department of Citizen Services toll free at 877-858-4804 or via e-mail at dcsmail@rcoc.org.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at info@rochestermedia.com.