Monday, May 5, 2014

Cracking down on campaign sign scofflaws

A couple of weeks ago, on the first day of early voting, a number of candidates were breaking the law. Dozens of their campaign signs were littering the roadways in violation of the campaign sign ordinances.

Drivers on Providence Road, for instance, were distracted by signs placed every few feet in the median between lanes. U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis and U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger appeared to have the most, but signs supporting several other candidates were placed there, too.

Many of those signs violated state law and signs on other roads violated a Charlotte ordinance. The local ordinance says that signs shall not be placed in the public right-of-way or on public property, and defines public property as within 11 feet of the edge of the pavement of any road. It specifies that signs can not be placed in traffic medians. State law bans signs from being placed within three feet of state-owned roads.

The fines for violating the ordinance are steep: $100 per sign for the first five signs, $500 per sign for the next five; and $1000 per sign for every sign over 10. Given how many signs were placed around town illegally, that would have cost candidates many thousands of dollars.

Perhaps that's why the signs are gone now. Drive along Providence Road today and the traffic median is just a beautiful stretch of well-manicured green grass. Our thanks to the city's code enforcement department or NC DOT for, we presume, enforcing the law, getting those rogue signs cleaned up and making the morning commute at least a little more pleasant.


Kevin Wilkinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.