Road Signs: Election Hangovers, Hidden Scars and Help Wanted
CDOT: Remove Your Political Signs
While Election Day was more than a month ago, political campaign signs continue dotting the sides of many roads and highways. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds the public that campaign signs must be removed as soon as possible.
The signs are subject to CDOT’s outdoor advertising control, particularly if the signs are both visible from the main-traveled way and within 660 feet of a “state highway”—even if the campaign signs are not within CDOT’s right of way. The rules governing outdoor advertising are defined under Colorado law. CDOT is charged with enforcing this law. (See Colorado Revised Statutes, § 43-1-402.)
“Federal and state laws prohibit campaign and other non-approved signs in state right of way, but even if the signs are out of the right of way and can be seen from the road, they must be removed promptly after the election,” said CDOT Traffic and Safety Program Manager Julie Constan. “Our maintenance crews attempt to remove signs—particularly those that pose a safety hazard or interfere with maintenance activities—but this takes time away from their regular operations.”
CDOT maintenance crews are challenged with the dilemma of removing the signs and storing them for a period of time for pick up at their patrol buildings statewide.
Federal & State Laws
State roadside advertising rules are mandated by Federal Law (23 CFR 750G, or the Lady Bird Johnson Highway Beautification Act), as well as Colorado State Statutes for Outdoor Advertising, found in the Colorado Revised Statutes, § 43-1-402 or Colorado’s Outdoor Advertising Act.
No signs are to be placed on Colorado state right of way. Campaign signs are allowed on private property, with an owner’s approval, outside the state right-of-way line. These signs must be removed promptly following the election. The law also applies to real estate, yard sales or any other types of signs.
“We greatly appreciate everyone’s compliance with these laws,” Constan added. “It keeps our public areas free of unlawful signs, and the roadsides from being misused or cluttered with too much signage, which helps keep the traveling public safe.”
The “Hidden Scars” of Careless Driving
By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol
Each month I usually write about topics to help you and your families stay safe on the roadways. This month I would like to touch on why that is so important. There is a hidden scar that goes on under the radar of public perception. So this time, I would like to help everyone understand the effect bad driving has on everyone else not directly involved in traffic crashes.
Any time there is an injury or fatal crash there is a ripple effect that happens. Those directly involved of course are the victims but have you ever thought of what effect the trauma has on the witnesses, families, friends, police, fire, paramedics, and hospital staff from that point on. The list is so large it’s hard to make sure everyone is listed when there is a serious crash. Each one of these people affected has to deal with what they have seen and experienced long after the incident. Sometimes they never get over what they have experienced.
The Colorado State Patrol has produced a series of videos aimed at explaining the lasting affects after the crash is over. The videos are entitled “Hidden Scars”. The short videos touch on the emotional hurt people endure from crashes caused by texting, driving under the influence, and distracted driving, to name just a few.
At the time I was writing this, there have been 561 fatal crashes covered this year by just the Colorado State Patrol alone. With the increase of people coming to the state and the continuing challenges to keep people from driving impaired or being distracted with cell phones, we need to make a change so we are not losing so many lives to crashes.
This means we need to look at things differently. We change perceptions. Help people to put the phone down when driving, get that ride after drinking or smoking marijuana, or to just slow down on the roadway. These are small steps that can have huge impacts, so others don’t have to have their own hidden scars.
Please take a moment and watch the videos with your family and friends. Hopefully these videos will have that message needed to change behavior. You can find our videos on any of our social media outlets.
As always, safe travels!
CDOT: Hiring with Good Pay, Incentives
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is still hiring qualified candidates to drive snowplows and complete highway maintenance work this winter. Open positions include permanent roles, as well as seasonal full-time and part-time work.
“Nationwide, there’s a shortage of drivers that have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and it’s impacting how many people we have out maintaining our roadways,” said CDOT Human Resources Director Susan Rafferty. “As we continue our push to hire more drivers, we’re doing what we can to better attract additional personnel.”
For temporary highway maintenance employees, CDOT is offering a number of incentives, including:
- increasing the pay rate from $19 an hour to $22 an hour; and
- allowing retired CDOT maintenance personnel (due to their extensive experience) to drive plow trucks for $25 an hour or their hourly rate, if it was higher when they retired.
Temporary seasonal positions generally last up to nine months.
Hiring managers also have been given more flexibility to hire either a full-time temporary employee or an on-call temporary employee. Additionally, CDOT is hiring permanent positions, with full benefits and promotional opportunities. A housing stipend is available for some locations.
The state Department of Personnel and Administration is providing CDOT with a six-month residency waiver, allowing beginning temporary and permanent highway maintenance employees to be hired from out-of-state. The waiver ends in May 2019. Previously, most permanent positions required Colorado residency, with the only exception being for those positions within 30 miles of the state border.
- Denver Metro Area
- I-70 Mountain Corridor (Idaho Springs, Empire, Vail Pass, Wolcott)
- Northern Front Range (Loveland)
- Northwest Colorado (Granby, Rabbit Ears Pass, Walden)
- West-Central/Southwest Colorado (Fairplay, Gunnison, Silverton, Telluride)
- Eastern Plains/Northeast Colorado (Limon, Hugo, New Raymer, Anton, Sterling)
- South-Central (La Veta)