The Times West Virginian

Opinion

September 6, 2013

‘Devastating consequences’ can result from stolen street signs

Even in this age of technology and GPS devices, something as simple as a street sign is still a basic navigational tool people rely on each and every day.

First responders use street signs to get to your home as quickly as possible if there’s an emergency.

Out-of-town guests use street signs to find their way around your neighborhood if they’re coming to celebrate a special occasion.

Carriers use street signs to help ensure the delivery of your mail and newspaper each day.

So when those street signs are missing, these tasks become more difficult.

And if the street signs are stolen, it’s an even bigger problem.

That’s what officials in the Worthington area are facing. Street signs were stolen from Hutchinson Drive, Meadowridge Road, Chiefton Way, New Hill Circle and Crown Street over the weekend, and Mayor Sandra Hulsey said it’s not the first time it’s happened.

But stolen street signs aren’t the only problem the town’s facing.

There were also reports of stolen speed bumps — which Hulsey said were installed specifically to slow traffic because a lot of children live and play in the neighborhood where the speed bumps were stolen.

When you consider that the town has to cover the cost of the stolen signs at roughly $50 apiece, the irresponsible acts become not just a safety concern, but an expensive problem for the town to deal with as well.

Perhaps Hulsey put it best when she described it as “just pure vandalism.”

Sadly, street and road signs have been disappearing in Marion County for years.

Last October, when road signs in the Swisher Hill area were stolen, Marion County’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Chris McIntire said as many as 12 signs were being reported stolen in one night. He said signs are disappearing “everywhere in the county, almost daily.”

“It used to be we had some street names that were popular that were stolen,” McIntire said. “Recently, it’s been whatever they come to. I think it’s just how many signs they can steal.

“It’s a childish act,” he added. “They don’t realize the devastating consequences if first responders can’t find a location in an emergency.”

We certainly hope it doesn’t take something as serious as emergency responders being unable to quickly locate a house when someone is having a heart attack or a child is choking to make those who steal these street signs realize how ridiculous their behavior is.

As McIntire said, “It would be a sad day if someone died for a childish act of stealing a sign.” But he said it’s “just a matter of time” before it happens.

And as Sheriff Joe Carpenter pointed out last fall, “You don’t want to be that reason.”

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease

    “Preventable, but not curable.”
    That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
    He could also use the word “deadly.”
    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.

    August 1, 2014

  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads