Local News

DOT Cracks Down On Illegal Roadside Signs

Posted April 21, 2003

— Officials with the state Department of Transportation are cracking down on illegal signs on roadways.

The law banning roadside signs has been on the books for years, but there is a new urgency to enforce the law since Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett gave the order to clear the roadside clutter. Along with DOT workers statewide, Earl Wood is on sign patrol. He is supposed to remove all illegal signs he sees as he conducts his regular duties.

"It gets worse. The signs that they are putting up now, some of the signs just block the site distance, where I think it's causing a lot of accidents," Wood said.

"Actually, it's a bad use of state people," said Jerry Linder, who is in charge of DOT maintenance in Wake County.

Linder said he had more jobs than people to do them before the sign order came down.

"Do I stop a crew to go pick up signs or do I have them patching potholes?" Linder said. "Do I have them fix a drainage problem or do I have them going around picking up signs."

It is a misdemeanor to put up an illegal roadside sign in North Carolina. DOT officials say election season is usually the worst time of year, but lately the high number of signs has been a year-long problem.

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