Last week, I wrote a report about the issue of campaign signs, both the yard signs and vehicles used as signs. I went out in the last few days with a cameraman and took some photographs in order to illustrate the issue for my readers. See if you agree or disagree with my perception of the problem and how serious it is.
I am extremely pro-free speech and so I have a good understanding of the implications which come from placing restrictions on the right of free speech. However, reasonable limitations on signage have been adjudged by our court system as not to be an imposition on first amendment rights.
I see this as comprising two main issues, quality of life, and safety. I will attempt to present examples of both.
My original proposal would limit signs on private property to one sign per candidates per property. I also proposed limiting signs placed on the public right of way (non-private property) to one sign per candidate per every 500 feet of road.
In the image above, which is one piece of property, you will see at least: 4 signs for Norman Lewis, 3 for Poland, 4 for Bruce Gibbs, 2 for Ken Goble, 3 for Mike Frost, 2 for Jack Hestle, 2 for Janet Harrison, 1 for Brenda Radford, 1 for Russell Blake, 1 for Bellamy, and 1 for Lewis Baggett along about 30′ of road frontage. There may be more, as several signs were obscured in this image. This is an eyesore and a distraction, as this is located along a busy section of road just down from a heavily trafficked intersection.
I wish to amend my original proposal to also limit the maximum permissible size of yard signs. More and more private homes are placing one or more of the gigantic 5’x7′ signs in their front yards, as with the vehicle signs that I discuss below, these can obstruct the view of the street and vehicle flow to motorists.
Another issue I wrote about was the signs that placed in or on vehicles such as numerous signs in the back of pickup trucks, on the side of dump trucks, cement mixers, school buses, and just about any other vehicle that you can imagine. Below is an example of these types of signs.
Can anyone truthfully say that the vehicle in the image below does not pose a hazard to traffic attempting to enter Madison Ave from Conroy Avenue and for traffic trying to exit the driveways of adjoining businesses and residences both up and down from the location of this sign?
As you can see in this image, both the intersection and the view of oncoming traffic is obstructed by this sign. This creates a hazardous situation. The truck is also parked across two parking spots in order to be near the roadside. I wish to make it clear that I have no issues with Jack Hestle or his campaign. The above image is just one example of the problem, there are signs for other candidates which are situated in locations which are just as bad.
While it is primarily happening with political signs, I am beginning to see private businesses use these types of signs for commercial advertising. As this is already a serious safety issue steps should be taken preempt this behavior.
I personally would support a measure to prohibit the use of all vehicles as road side signs. If politicians would not find this acceptable, a reasonable compromise would be to require these vehicles/signs to be placed at least 20 feet from the side of the road.
What is your opinion on this subject?