Route 616 residents might be able to place rocks on their property to prevent crashes into their homes

Harry and Shirley Wildasin on the front porch of their home on Seven Valleys Road in York New Salem. The couple’s home was hit by a vehicle in July. They were displaced for four months while their home was repaired. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – KATE PENN

Last month, we had written a story about how some residents along Route 616 were concerned about three recent crashes in their neighborhood.

Two of the vehicles had crashed into houses, and a third narrowly missed a home.

The residents had mentioned that they thought about putting big rocks — or boulders — in front of their properties to prevent vehicles from striking their homes. However, they were advised against doing so.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation said a property owner could be held liable if someone is injured by hitting the rocks.

However, after the story ran, another spokesman questioned whether that advice is correct. He suggested calling someone in the insurance industry.

I called Dave Phillips, a spokesman with State Farm, and he looked into the issue. First, residents would need to check with their local municipality —  and local homeowners association, if that applies — to see if they are allowed to put in large rocks, he said.

If they are allowed, the residents must put the rocks on their property — not pushing toward the road, Phillips said.

Then if someone drives off the road and hits the rocks, the question arises: Why did the driver lose control? The liability would go back on the driver.

Phillips said it wouldn’t be any different than a driver striking a tree in the yard.

“It’s not your fault,” he said.

About Teresa Boeckel

Reach Teresa Boeckel at tboeckel@ydr.com or call 717-771-2031.
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4 Responses to Route 616 residents might be able to place rocks on their property to prevent crashes into their homes

  1. JT says:

    FWIW there is an impressive array of boulders shielding a North Codourus Township house along Green Valley Road–a PennDOT highway–between Myers Road and Cold Springs Lane.

    That house is along a fairly sharp curve on the outskirts of Jefferson.

    • Traci Hilferding says:

      I am one of those residents mentioned in the story. We are not advised to place rocks/boulders in our yards to prevent these crashes. PenDot and the police department has advised us that if someone crashes into those rocks/boulders and is hurt we could be sued. So therefore, that is not an option for us and the other residents on this stretch of road. We were just told that PenDot denied the request for guard rails to be placed in our yards. We are at loss for what we can do. Its a very dangerous road and drivers have very little respect for that stretch of road we live on.

  2. Diane Rodkey says:

    Why not plant some trees? It will take them a while to grow but even a small tree might slow down a car enough to save a life. And, if they’re evergreens you won’t have leaves to rake in the fall.

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