GRAND RAPIDS, Mich - Leaders at the Kent County Road Commission are imploring politicians and really anybody else who puts yard signs near roads to adhere to the rules to make sure the signs don't cause an accident.
Hundreds of signs have been plucked out of the ground in recent weeks by road crews.
The warning comes a little more than three weeks before the primary election on August 7.
The Kent County Road Commission permits the placement of posters/signs advertising one’s candidacy within county right-of-way. But ultimately, anybody putting down a sign has to get the land owner's approval.
In addition, the following rules are in place for any yard sign in areas of the county outside of municipalities: signs shall not be larger than nine square feet, signs shall be a minimum of fifteen feet from the edge of the paved surface, outside of mowing limits, and at least 150 feet from the intersection of another road. All signs must be removed within ten days after the election.
Many cities have different rules. You can find out information here.
Byrne showed us a crate full of approximately 200 signs that have been confiscated in recent weeks because the signs were put in areas against the rules. Byrne says if he dedicated his crews to enforcing the law, crews could probably get 8-9 crates in a day if they really wanted to create a "sign patrol".
"We have 2000 miles of road and we don't have the manpower to run every road every day," Byrne said. "We just want people to take a second look and don't just plop it there."
There will never be a "sign patrol" but Byrne says they do take action if there is a complaint or if the sign blocks driver and pedestrian visibility.
"We're looking at signs that are a hazard to motorist or pedestrians," Byrne said.
Some of the biggest offenders looking at the crate appear to be real estate agents, independent contractors and businesses.
If signs are confiscated, Byrne says county leaders will likely warn the individual and give the signs back free of charge but will begin to charge a $10 fee if it becomes a pattern of problems.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.