Hey MTPD! What Can Be Done About Trees Blocking Road Signs? Click Here To Find Out!


Now that warmer weather is here, trees, brush, and other vegetation are growing plentiful!  In many areas, this growth is obstructing signage posted by either state or local authorities, or restricting the view of drivers and pedestrians upon the roadways.  The blocking of road signage is not only troublesome by causing confusion, but also potentially extremely dangerous when related to regulatory signs like STOP signs.  Limited sight distance can also create hazardous conditions for bicyclists and / or vehicles attempting to enter or cross roadways.

Many people do not realize that ensuring signage is not blocked or sight distance is not limited is the responsibility of the property owner, not the state or Township.  When an obstruction is discovered, employees from the Manheim Township Police Department will make contact with the property owner where the sign is located and request that they remove it.  If they fail to do so, the property owner can be cited with an offense.

If you have signage on your property, please check to ensure it is not obstructed.  Similarly, also check any bushes or trees that you may have along the edge of your property, near the roadway.  If so, please cut back any growth to ensure everyone's safety is maintained.

Below you will find the section from the PA Vehicle Code where officers can enforce this law.

§ 6112.  Removal of traffic hazards by property owner.
(a)  General rule.--It is the duty of the owner of real property to remove from the property any tree, plant, shrub or other similar obstruction, or part thereof, which by obstructing the view of any driver constitutes a traffic hazard.
(b)  Notice of hazard.--When the department or any local authority determines on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that a traffic hazard exists, it shall notify the owner and order the hazard removed within ten days.
(c)  Penalty.--The failure of the owner to remove the traffic hazard within ten days after notice under subsection (b) is a summary offense and every day the owner fails to remove it shall be a separate and distinct offense. The offense is punishable by a fine of $10.

Sign obstructions (Publication 212) used when charging the above offense:
§ 212.6.  Removal of traffic hazards.

(a)  Interfering signs, lights or markings. The Secretary and local authorities, under their respective jurisdictions, have the authority to cause the removal of all colored or flashing lighted signs or other lights, signs or markings so located as to interfere with traffic or to be confused with or to obstruct the view or effectiveness of traffic-control devices.
(b)  Trees, plants, shrubs or other obstructions. The Department on State-designated highways, and local authorities on any highway within their boundaries, may require a property owner to remove or trim a tree, plant, shrub or other obstruction or part thereof which constitutes a traffic hazard. The following are examples of traffic hazards:
     (1)  The obstruction restricts the stopping sight distance for drivers of through vehicles or the available corner sight distance for drivers entering from side roads or driveways to distances less than the appropriate minimum stopping sight distance or minimum corner sight distance values.
     (2)  The obstruction critically restricts the sight distance to a traffic-control device.
     (3)  Vehicle crash records indicate that a crash has involved the obstruction or that the obstruction contributed to one or more of the vehicle crashes.

MEDIA POST CONTACT: Sergeant Michael T. Piacentino, W: 717-569-6401 Ext: 1583, C: 717-340-2130, piacentinom@manheimtownshippolice.org