Maryland to fine for illegal road signs
Maryland is taking a tougher stance on signs placed on state highways. A law that went into effect Oct 1st allows authorities to fine people who illegally place signs on state roadways.
The state highway administration and local governments to start issuing $25 fines for each sign placed illegally on state roadways.
“There’s a 3 month warning period from Oct. 1 to Jan. 1 and state highway crews will be removing the signs but will leave one sign with a sticker on the back, to alert the owner of the sign that after Jan. 1, they'll be paying a fine,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar of the state highway administration.
Transportation officials say that it's always been illegal to place commercial signs on state highways, including interstates and numbered routes, but without a fee enforcement, taxpayers have been footing the bill.
“Our crews have had to pick up illegal signs for whatever it may be, that's been advertised. The state and the citizens of Maryland have been having to pay that cost for $600,000 a year,” Burnette Edgar said.
This initiative aims to save money and lives. The signs next to stoplights or along medians can obscure other, more important information.
“If there's a clutter of signs that could potentially confusing or blocking other signs, that is a danger to drivers,” said Burnette Edgar. Wind could also blow the signs into the road where they become a hazard to drivers.
Darren Long hopes this crackdown will also mean fewer eyesores during his commute “because they never come back and take the signs---they never clean up after themselves,” he laments.
Craig Scarcia says it's too early to tell how effective this rule will be.
“I don't think it's going to discourage too many people from putting up signs, because it's a relatively inexpensive way to advertise,” he said.
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