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* News Release *
 
Friday, June 19, 2009
For Immediate Release

THE PROBLEM OF UNLAWFUL TAMPERING WITH TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES
Enforcement Being Stepped Up

As road construction season swings into full gear, closures and detours are a common occurrence for motorists who contend with longer commutes and temporary congestion. Occasionally, a few frustrated motorists take matters into their own hands by altering or removing traffic control devices in and around construction sites. The Butler County Engineer and Butler County Sheriff remind the motoring public that this is against the law and could create an unsafe situation for all motorists and construction workers.

There have been several recent incidents of tampering with traffic control devices, according to BCEO Construction Deputy Denny Krall. "Moving barrels, cones, or signs could cause serious accidents by changing and confusing designated traffic control patterns," he said. "We understand that construction and detours can be an inconvenience, but the traffic control measures are in place first and foremost for safety reasons. And the road project itself is for long term safety and traffic flow."

The Butler County Sheriff's Office and local law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement in construction areas, according to Butler County Sheriff Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer. Violators can be cited under Ohio law.

Section 4511.17 of the Ohio Revised Code states that it is illegal to tamper with any traffic control device. This includes moving barrels, cones, barricades, and signs. Specifically, the law states:

"No person, without lawful authority, shall.....knowingly move, deface, damage, destroy, or otherwise improperly tamper with any traffic control device, any railroad sign or signal, or any inscription, shield, or insignia on the device, sign, or signal, or any part of the device, sign, or signal; knowingly drive upon or over any freshly applied pavement marking material on the surface of the roadway while the marking material is in an undried condition and is marked by flags, markers, signs, or other devices intended to protect it."

Persons who violate these provisions can be found guilty of a misdemeanor or even a felony if the violation causes serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased, or controlled by a state or local authority.

"Please don't endanger yourself and others by altering the established traffic patterns, signs, and devices in or outside of construction zones," Krall emphasized. "Our goal is a safe commute for everybody."

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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