Attacks on road signs, bus shelter 'stupidity'

16:00, Dec 10 2012

More than 20 road signs and a bus shelter in Edendale and Wyndham have been deliberately run over in the past month.

Constable Richard Lindsay, of Gore, said it was an act of "stupidity" that put driver safety at risk.

Give-way signs, speed signs, road names, curve warnings and a stop sign were among those that had been pushed over.

Car tracks suggested a four-wheel-drive vehicle had been involved in the recurring incidents, he said.

No-one had been arrested but police had suspects "lined up and are keeping a close eye on them".

Given the stupidity of the acts it was likely alcohol was involved, he said.

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On Wednesday, eight road signs and a bus shelter in Tramway Rd West in Edendale were rammed by a vehicle.

Every road sign on a 2- to 3-kilometre stretch in Wyndham-Letterbox Rd were among those pushed over last month.

Most incidents occurred during the week and either at night or in the early morning.

MWH roading technician Monique Ireland said it was "very important" that signs supporting road rules and safety issues were replaced as soon as possible.

Stop signs and give-way signs were replaced within 24 hours, speed advisory signs in less than a week and road names took about a month, she said.

The cost of replacing the signs was probably about $3000, and that did not include the bus shelter cost.

If someone was not familiar with the road and a speed advisory sign was missing, they would probably come off the road. She did not believe any stop signs were damaged in any of the incidents but it was possible some had.

Southland district councillor Paul Duffy said residents told him a stop sign had recently been pushed right out of the ground.

Having no stop sign was dangerous for drivers, especially those not familiar with the area, he said.

It was disappointing to see such systematic and destructive behaviour, and it was an unnecessary cost to the community.

"It's a sheer waste of ratepayers' money in replacing them.

"Ratepayers pay, the community has to pay."

terri.russell@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times