Here in Massachusetts, there has been activity at the state house to prohibit signs on overpasses above major
highways that welcome home returning servicemen from Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm not sure of the motivation for this
effort. Maybe it's to a political issue (for or against the wars in the mid-east) or an aesthetic issue, or maybe
it's to remove distractions that can lead to traffic accidents. If the reason is the latter, then I think those
concerned with these signs are barking up the wrong tree.
For me, signs on overpasses are no more distracting than any roadside sign. If the politicians want to eliminate
overpass signs to remove distractions, then they had better consider eliminating all roadside advertising, all
traffic signs, all signs providing directions, etc.
What distracts me when I am driving is someone waving a sign at the side of the road, at a major intersection or on
an interstate overpass in order to deliberately get my attentions. Who, you may ask, would do something so stupid?
Such irresponsible actions could cause a major traffic accident leading to significant property damage, serious
injuries and even to the deaths of motorists and pedestrians.
The persons who are dumb enough to take such dangerous actions are people waving political campaign signs around the
times of local, state and federal elections. Such activities should be banned nationwide. We debate the issue of
prohibiting cell phones and text messaging in moving vehicles because they cause distractions to drivers. I don't
text message while driving and I use my cell phone in a moving vehicle as sparingly as possible because I want to
focus on my driving. I don't need to have a distracting campaign sign waved in my face as I drive by a street
corner or under an overpass.
Rather than trying to specify and outlaw each and every activity that causes a distraction to automobile drivers,
maybe the law(s) should be written that simply say that any action that distracts a driver is illegal and punishable
by law. That ought to cover campaign signs waving in the breeze, reading the morning paper while driving to work or
putting on makeup while heading out on a date.