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Traffic Talk: Having a clear view of the road is critical to safe driving

Don Gammill: Obstructions, such as trees or fences, that don't allow drivers a clear view of the road can be real hazards and also violations of city ordinances.
By DON GAMMILL Modified: February 3, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: February 3, 2014

Each time I pull out of my neighborhood, I have to creep up to the stop sign at the end of my street, wait, then ease around the corner.

The problem is a fence that is built on a yard at the end of the street. It's on a slight curve, making it difficult to see oncoming traffic. It's legal, but a hazard. That's one the developer didn't figure on, apparently.

Having an unobstructed view is critical to safety, we all know. Here's another type of hazard shared by a reader.

What is the homeowner legally responsible for if their plantings (trees, shrubs, etc.) block your view when trying to turn at an intersection? I live in Newcastle. Thanks.


Here, John, is the Newcastle codified ordinance, Title IX: General Regulations, Chapter 93: Streets and Sidewalks. It's very similar to several others I've seen.

Bookmark§ 93.01 TREES AND SHRUBBERY.

(A)(1) The owner of any premises abutting on any street shall trim all trees and shrubbery growing in the public right of way and on any part of the premises adjacent to any street or alley, in a manner that the boughs or limbs thereof shall not obstruct free and convenient passage and travel along any streets, sidewalks or alleys.

(2) When the premises are occupied by some person other than the owner, the occupant shall trim the trees and shrubbery in the same manner as herein required of the owner.

(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to injure any tree or shrubbery within any public right of way. This shall not prohibit the lawful and proper care and removal of the trees and shrubbery.

(`86 Code, § 17-1) Penalty, see § 10.99

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