New Sign Law Is Here

BERLIN — Travelers across Worcester County and the Lower Shore can expect to see far fewer illegally-placed signs along state highways next week when a new law prohibiting their placement and allowing state and local governments to recuperate the cost of removing them goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Passed during the 2011 General Assembly session, the new law created a three-month warning period beginning in October for the removal of illegal signs along state-maintained roadways. Starting Jan. 1, the warning period is over and state and local crews will begin removing illegal signs and issuing $25 fines.

Along state highways, including interstates, U.S. and Maryland numbered routes, private signs are prohibited in the medians and along the sides on the public property or “right-of-way.”  The illegal signs are often found attached to utility poles or stacked together on wooden posts littering medians.

“Illegal signs can become roadway debris and hazards for drivers, endanger or hinder maintenance crews and clog drainage systems,” said Acting Administrator and Deputy Transportation Secretary Darrell B. Mobley.  “We appreciate the economic benefit of local businesses and the need to advertise. Business owners can work with SHA through partnerships that support branding including logo and sponsorship programs and of course, advertising through existing billboards.”

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.