Kudos to RDOS and province for doing their job relating to proliferation of road signs, says reader

By on March 19, 2014

Dear Editor:

The RDOS and Department of Highways have recently stirred up a hornet’s nest about removal of highway signs in the South Okanagan corridor.

They have always had a mandate to keep our highways safe and enforce current by-laws pertaining to signage.

People, they are simply doing their job. Their mandate is to enforce rules, regulations and by-laws.

While I can understand the outcry from businesses that line the highway, to avoid chaos, anarchy, and confusion, the point is, rules, regulations and laws apply to everyone.

Some of us believe the speed limit of 80 kilometres an hour is too slow for our improved highways.

What would happen if everyone decided to speed up to 100 or more?

And on and on we go, disobeying laws we dislike.

I have been driving Okanagan highways as a visitor and a resident for over 50 years.

I moved back to the South Okanagan about five years ago and was astonished at the proliferation of signage on both sides of the highway.

Some on highway right-of-way, some on private land, and some on First Nations property

It matters not where they are located; it is the desecration of beautiful views, pristine ambience, and safety due to distraction that upsets me.

I also find it interesting that our First Nations people, who are the first to object to anything and everything that threatens nature, pristine beauty and the naturalness of our great province, and yet, where there is a buck involved, they allow the plastering on both sides of the highway with billboards and signs of every size and description from Osoyoos to Salmon Arm on their land.

The same land that is controlled solely by them.

I understand farmers and orchardists want to make a living as do everyone else. They are subject to the same laws and rules as are we all. If they are given special treatment when it comes to enforcement, then should not all businesses be given the same consideration?

Do we really want to see an eye sore of signs on our highways advertising everything from flea markets to tonic water?

If we make a by-law exception, then it is the right of every Canadian to expect the same exception. The RDOS and Department of Highways has no control over native land.

How the First Nations deal with the sign pollution problem has to be left to their good conscience. They have to decide whether they truly believe they are the guardians of our land and whether their words against those that might do harm to our land are words of truth or just empty words. However, we would expect our powers that be to enforce equally all by-laws, rules and regulations when it comes to highway signage.

Perhaps the answer would be a government sign similar to the present ones advertising a campsite or road repairs up ahead.

This sign could be placed at the beginning of the areas containing the most fruit stands.

It could simply advise drivers there are multiple fruits stands ahead.

This would allow persons wishing to purchase fruit and produce to be on the alert.

As a courtesy if they are driving slower in search of the stands, they could pull over to one side to allow faster traffic to pass.

Kudos in advance to the RDOS and provincial government for doing their jobs.

James Lynch

Oliver, B.C.


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