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 or call 717-771-2031.
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