49-221. Removal of traffic hazards. (1) It shall be the responsibility of the owner of real property to remove from his property any hedge, shrubbery, fence, wall or other sight obstructions of any nature, except public traffic or highway signs, buildings and trees, where these sight obstructions constitute a potential traffic hazard. The above sight obstructions shall not extend more than three (3) feet, or less than ten (10) feet, in height above the existing center line highway elevation within the vision triangle of vehicle operators. The boundaries of the vision triangle are defined by measuring from the intersection of the edges of two (2) adjacent highways forty (40) feet along each highway and connecting the two (2) points with a straight line. The sight distance obstruction restriction is also applicable to railroad-highway grade crossings with vision triangle defined by measuring forty (40) feet along the railroad property line when intersecting with a highway.
(2) When the department or any local authority determines that a traffic hazard exists, it may notify the owner and order that the hazard be removed within an appropriate time as determined by the department or local authority, considering the circumstances and conditions involved. The appropriate time may be specified in the notice. Such notice shall not obligate the department or local authorities to pursue removal or abatement until all legal remedies are exhausted.
(3) The failure of the owner to remove the traffic hazard within the appropriate specified time shall constitute a misdemeanor and every day the owner shall fail to remove the obstruction may be considered a separate and distinct offense. Civil action may also be initiated by state or local officials to enforce vision triangle restrictions.
(4) Local officials may, by resolution or ordinance, establish standards and procedures for protecting vision triangles at the intersections of local streets and roads. Such locally adopted standards or procedures, which may be more or less restrictive than the provisions hereof, shall not modify the standards established by this section concerning intersections with state maintained highways and intersections with railroads.
[49-221, added 1988, ch. 265, sec. 17, p. 583; am. 1998, ch. 408, sec. 1, p. 1265.]