OAK LAWN, Ill. – State authorities have put the breaks on an experiment in a suburb of Chicago aimed at reinforcing the need to stop and have informed city officials that their custom stop signs didn’t conform to the federal sign code.
City officials say that that it is simply further proof that the many bureaucrats lack a sense of humor.
State officials can rest easy, stops signs across the community of Oak Lawn are no longer adorned with comical remarks in octagonal shapes that had been placed under the city’s stop signs in an effort to get motorists to obey the law.
Mayor Dave Heilmann says the Illinois Department of Transportation determined the signs violated the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. He says had Oak Lawn not removed the signs, the city could have lost federally funded projects.
The public safety campaign to cut down on speeding through stop signs began in September. Slogans such as "and smell the roses" and "means that you aren’t moving" were placed near 50 stop signs.
At the time, Heilmann said he thought the remarks would get motorists to pause, if for nothing else, to read the phrases.
Heilmann says IDOT’s objection to the signs meant he had to junk $1,700 worth of signs.