Unauthorized highway signage is distracting drivers and causing more crashes in the Comox Valley, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
MoTI says an increasing number of private and third-party signs are being installed on Highway 19A, either on the right-of-way or in contravention of setbacks laid out in section 214 of the Motor Vehicle Act for private property.
“This growing number of signs is contributing to sign pollution within the corridor and adding an unnecessary distraction to drivers,” the ministry said in a statement. “Public complaints on this issue have also been increasing over the past two years.”
Last year, the ministry undertook a corridor study for Highway 19A between Courtenay and Campbell River. The study looked at crash statistics from the past five years and noted that 27 per cent of collisions were a result of driver inattentiveness. The ministry is therefore removing unauthorized signs, but not those belonging to businesses located on private property — as long as the business is registered to the property where the sign is placed.