Keeping the Roads Clean and the Right of Ways Unobstructed
As farming season begins, the Murray County Commissioners and Murray County Township officials would like to remind farmers that planting crops within the right of way of a public road is a safety hazard – and against the law.
The highway right of way includes driving lanes, shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections.
Crops planted within a road right of way might obstruct the driver’s view of oncoming traffic. Visual obstructions created by unlawfully planted crops, such as corn, are especially dangerous and can become a misdemeanor.
Farming too close to the roadways can cause serious erosion issues which can affect proper drainage and clog culverts. Damage to the ditch system may jeopardize the shoulders and stability of the roadway itself.
There are safety concerns for the farmers as well. Utility companies are permitted to use the right of way to install gas, power, and fiber optic cables. Plowing and tilling close to these can damage the lines which could become dangerous and create outages for consumers.
Plowing, tilling, and planting within the highway right of way and sight corners violates state law. The county and township officials may maintain those rights of ways which may include mowing crops improperly planted in those areas.
In addition, roadways must remain clean of unnecessary amounts of mud or manure that may be tracked onto the roadway during the farming season. If not cleared from the roadway, the landowner may be charged to properly remove the debris from the road bed.
To avoid any problems, landowners are encouraged to contact the county highway department or their local township official for more clarification.