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.
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."
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For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849