Resist stealing traffic signs

Published 10:49 pm Friday, April 9, 2010

As I pause to picture what a stop sign or deer crossing sign might look like on my bedroom wall, I pause even further to wonder why those signs would be in my possession in the first place.

Those who stole nine traffic signs from Hinkle Road, Samaria Road and Martha Street chose to bypass that reflection. Instead, they’re probably either using them for target practice or leveling it on the wall next to their Crimson Tide national championship poster.

Never a huge fan of those wildly popular “Blue Collar Comedy” specials, where the four Southern-slanted funnymen sit atop stools and trade yuks, I recently happened upon a particularly humorous bit worth mentioning that’s applicable to our situation here.

Perhaps the least dynamic member of the group, Bill Engvall, has a routine called, “Here’s Your Sign,” where he sets up situations and offers “signs” to people to identify them as foolish upon them asking a dumb question.

The city property thieves don’t deserve a “stupid” sign for asking a dumb question.

They earn theirs for utter stupidity. Look, kids get bored. My parents always told me I was “too young to be bored,” and I get that now. But dish that statement on some kids, and they go out and steal traffic signs. What other legal, non-violent alternative activity can we recommend they pursue?

Besides, think of your parents, sign-thieves. If a minor steals traffic signs, their parents are responsible and will suffer the consequences. Why should they deal with yet another headache on top of their bonehead kid?

If the culprit returns the property to the street and sanitation department, he or she will not face any charges. I’d opt for that route.

Let’s give the young bucks the benefit of the doubt and assume someone over 18 years old snagged the signs.

Street and sanitation superintendent Dale Collins expressed not only how serious the consequences would be to those who steal the signs but, more importantly, to drivers who miss a stop sign because of it. Frivolous behavior thanks to “boredom” could very easily lead to multiple car accidents causing injuries or deaths. One would be too many.

Collins suggested residents keep an eye out for the thievish behavior in and around their neighborhoods, a great idea. City employees work hard but aren’t omnipresent and all-knowing to the goings-on 24 hours a day. Citizens can step up and never feel sorry for reporting the careless actions of a dope. You’ll help yourself and your neighbor.

As for the dopes themselves, find something better to do. We hate to keep handing you the sign you can’t put on your wall.