Signpost Up Ahead: The Hazards of Illegal Highway Signs

They are all too common sights: hydro poles covered in cardboard and sandwich boards competing for roadside real estate. Not only do these illegal signs pose serious safety risks for drivers (talk about distracted driving!), they’re also a risk to maintenance crews responsible for taking them down.

Illegal signs are a problem across B.C. With help from our Saanich ministry office and South Vancouver Island maintenance contractor, we put together this video to explain how unauthorized highway signs are getting in the way of road safety. Illegal signs will be removed; please do not add to the problem.

From design to installation, there needs to be consistent and safe roadside signs. Motorists have a right to expect that any particular traffic sign will always have a specific meaning to provide drivers guidance. To be effective, a sign should:

  • Fulfill a need
  • Command attention and respect
  • Convey a clear and simple message
  • Allow adequate time for a proper response

We know the importance of tourism in B.C., and understand essential service businesses and attractions want to catch travellers’ eyes – and they still can. The Service & Attraction Sign Program (currently being updated) provides identifiable blue and white signs that are properly designed and managed on B.C. highways. You can contact your local district transportation office for more information.
By following roadside signage rules, we can still get our messages across while making our roads safer for motorists and highway maintenance workers.

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