The warning from North Yorkshire County Council comes after the authority received a number of reports of muddy roads around England's largest county and said this could be a "serious hazard".
Officials are now urging operators of farming and construction vehicles not to leave roads covered in mud this winter.
They say a number of powers are available to the police and the highway authority, mainly under the Highways Act 1980 and the Road Traffic Act 1988.
The Highways Act 1980 says: “If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, deposits anything whatsoever on a highway in consequence of which a user of the highway is injured or endangered, that person is guilty of an offence.”
Councillor Don Mackenzie, the county council’s executive member for highways, said: “Civil action can be takenwhere mud results in personal injury, damage to property, loss or inconvenience.
"It can constitute a public nuisance and loss or injury can result in a claim for negligence.
“The county council, as the highways authority, has a duty to protect the rights of road users. Section 149 of the Highways Act 1980 gives the highway authority the power to clean the road and recover the cost from the person causing the obstruction.’’