Public works warns against marking or moving road signs

“If their family member runs through that intersection cause they missed the stop sign and they get hurt or injured, it’s not so funny anymore.”
Public works replaced at least a dozen road signs due to them being stolen and vandalized, and officials shared the damaged property seems to be increasing.
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 7:51 PM EST
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THOMAS COUNTY Ga. (WCTV) -Missing street names and damaged roads signs are causing quite the headache in Thomas county.

Public works replaced at least a dozen road signs due to them being stolen and vandalized, and officials shared the damaged property seems to be increasing.

“We’ve always had signs that get vandalized at one time or another, but we fear that lately we’ve had a rash of them,” said public works director, Tony Bodiford.

He said he believes teenagers are behind the recent increase in vandalized road signs and although it may seem like harmless fun, there are real dangers and real consequences associated with these actions

“If their family member runs through that intersection cause they missed the stop sign and they get hurt or injured, it’s not so funny anymore.”

Bodiford said there have been signs spray painted over, shot at and even taken down. Street name signage is being removed; which officials say can prevent first responders from providing aid to a home, if they can’t determine where they are.

“Fire trucks, ambulances, if they’re going somewhere they’re looking for signs. They don’t know every name of the road in Thomas County,” said Bodiford.

For sign shop operator Frank Hunter, creating, printing, pressing and replacing signs is happening a lot more these days. Hunter said making the signs is not only costly, but it’s also time consuming.

“This sign takes me about 30 minutes to make it. The bigger signs take longer,” he explained.

Officials told WCTV that each sign could cost about $100 each to replace, and said that money comes from taxpayers. Bodiford said he’s encouraging parents to check their children’s rooms and talk to their teens about the consequences of stealing or damaging the street signs. He added that on top of the damage or theft being a felony, it could also cost someone their life.

The Thomas County Sheriff’s office confirmed that if a crash of any kind is caused as a result of a damaged or stolen road sign, the person that committed that vandalism or theft could be held responsible for that damage.

Officials ask that if you see someone damaging or removing road signs that are not public works, call TCSO and report it.

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