Local News

Wilson Bans Ads on Telephone Poles

Posted July 30, 1998

— Whether riding in a car or walking down the street, it's hard to miss the many advertising flyers stapled to telephone poles. While they're one of the cheapest forms of advertising, they are against the law in the city of Wilson which says the signs are not just tacky, they're dangerous.

No matter where you live there's a good chance you've seen signs stapled to telephone poles on trips around town. Now, Wilson police are now giving an ultimatum to the sign owners. Get them down by August 1 or pay a $50 fine.

"As the summer months come along, people begin to have yard sales, students are out of school, people are advertising for part-time jobs. It just became a real problem at large intersections," says Wilson Police Major Wayne Lamm.

The city ordinance, has been in place for years, but recent complaints are pushing police to enforce it. Besides the fact that they look bad, officers say the signs can be dangerous if they distract motorists.

For that reason, police will treat every sign the same, though some people believe yard sales should be exempt.

"Well, they're little people," says Wilson resident Samuel Morgan. "They're just trying to make a little, they have a lot of extra clothes they're trying to get rid of and they want to make a few dollars. I don't see what it hurts."

Advertisers small and large have until this weekend to take down their markers. After that, officers will start calling ad numbers and slapping fines on offenders.

Wilson is not the only town cracking down on the ads. Rocky Mount has a similar rule in place, and Durham officials approved a similar measure earlier this year.


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