Have you ever been driving and suddenly, a stop sign seemingly appears out of nowhere and you have to slam on your brakes? Were you not paying attention? Or was there something that was blocking the sign so you couldn’t see it. Often it is a combination of both. Sometimes unless we are on the lookout for stop sign then the obstructed ones sneak up on us. Obviously, it shouldn’t be this way. Stop signs should be very easy to see. If not, this not only puts drivers at risk but also pedestrians and bikers as well.
Who is to Blame?
So, if a stop sign is hard to see because of some sort of obstruction, whose fault is that? According to the law, it is actually theduty of the owner of the land the stop sign is on to make sure that it is not obstructed. Each city has its own ordinances that can be found by simply doing a search with the city name and ordinance. Some of the ordinances may vary but pretty much all cities agree that it is the land owner’s duty to make sure that intersections are not obstructed.
Here is a link to Provo’s ordinances
With that in mind, let’s go back to the previously mentioned scenario. You are driving along and you come to an intersection. You don’t see the stop sign there because it is hidden by some branches. Because of this you drive through the intersection without stopping and get into a crash. Technically the crash is your fault because you failed to stop at the stop sign. However, you couldn’t see the stop sign because of the branches that were blocking it. For this reason, the crash is (at least in some part) the land owners fault. Had the land owner trimmed the branches on the tree, like they are legally supposed to, you would have seen the stop sign and stopped. This would have in effect stopped the car crash from happening.
This is a big reason why you need to get a permit if you want to put a fence on your property. You could potentially cause crashes if you don’t build your fence in accordance with the regulations.