Drivers in Weyburn may be forgiven if they had the idea for a while that the city was wide open for signage, whether they were portable signs or billboards.
Thankfully this is not the case anymore, as city staff have begun cracking down on the use and over-use of signs in Weyburn, and are now enforcing the city’s bylaw which regulates the use and placing of the signs.
There are two parts that sign owners have to adhere to: one is to register their sign or signs; secondly is to pay the administration fee, which at this point is $100 per sign per year.
This may or may not stay, as city council has asked administration to review the city’s sign bylaw, as it pertains to all kinds of signs (portable, billboards), a process that may take about a month or so to be completed. By that point, council will decide if the fees as set out will remain, be decreased or increased.
The important principle is that the bylaw must apply to all sign owners, whether they are owned by a Weyburn business or are from out of town, and they must adhere to the rules about placement and use in addition to the fees charged by the city. It really doesn’t matter that the bylaw went for a long time without strict enforcement; the bylaw is on the books, and is being revised, and will now be properly enforced by city employees for the benefit of city residents.
The reason for having the bylaw in the first place is to ensure there aren’t signs blocking driver’s line of sight at corners or along roads, and aren’t a distraction to drivers, which some of the recent electronic signs seem almost bent on doing. In an era when distractions are being cited as a cause of vehicle accidents, we don’t need more distractions produced by flashing images and letters on a brightly-lit sign.
Recently a city employee found that only 16 out of 55 signs had a sticker indicating that it was registered properly with the City of Weyburn; this needs to be rectified, and once the bylaw has been reviewed, then all owners of all the signs will know exactly what is expected of them. It’s possible that some sign owners don’t really know what the city rules are, but then it’s their responsibility as a business person to find out what rules apply to them.
After all, they are dealing with signs which could have detrimental effects on safe driving practises around the city; we need safe streets, and sign owners who are responsible.