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Increase in thefts, damage to highway signs concerning: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways

A highway sign that has been damaged in Saskatchewan. Submitted by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways

There are 26,000 kilometres of highway in Saskatchewan. On those highways are 120,000 signs.

David Horth, director of communications for Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways, said roughly 13,000 signs are replaced each year as part of maintenance.

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While the ministry doesn’t keep track of how many signs are damaged, Horth said it has been noticing a lot more vandalized or missing signs.

“We are noticing more instances of the vandalizing and theft this year,” Horth said.

Horth said there have been reports and evidence of damage from bullet holes.

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A stop sign that appears to have some massive holes in it. Saskatchewan Highway Hotline/Facebook
A sign that has been completed removed from it's post. Submitted by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways

He said the signs are an essential piece for everyday driving and while the ministry tries to stay on top of things, it is not always informed right away that a sign is missing.

“The safety information for something is really critical about the time to stop,” Horth said.

“That could be very serious. That would result in an accident, serious injury, or even death.”

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Horth said the number of instances that have happened this year is concerning.

“Anyone caught damaging or stealing a highway sign may be prosecuted. We report all (cases) to the RCMP,” Horth said. “We want (those responsible) to face consequences. It’s also illegal.”

Horth said the cost of replacing a sign is $600.

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