‘Plows Use Caution’ Sign – Necessity Or Waste Of Money?

By David Wade, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Have you seen the road signs that have been springing up on approaches to bridges?

They read: “Plows Use Caution.”

Are they a big waste of money, or a safety necessity?

The state has spent thousands of dollars installing the signs on highways. Some people think “caution” in this case should be obvious.

The signs are there to remind plow drivers to be careful not to dump snow off bridges and onto cars below.

It happened last winter to Dr Jennifer Finch as she was driving on Rt. 128.

As she approached an overpass a plow dumped snow over the bridge right onto her car, smashing her windshield.

Fortunately she didn’t get hurt, but boy, was she mad.

WBZ-TV’s David Wade reports

So this year, the state is reminding plow drivers not to do that, and has put up 200 “plows use caution” signs at $200 a pop. That’s a grand total of $40,000.

“It’s a waste of our money,” says Ron Hart. Hart was surprised and miffed when he saw sign after sign going up on Rt. 1.

He says using caution should be common sense. “I don’t know why we need to spend money putting up signs so they understand what their job is,” he says.

The Transportation Dept. doesn’t see it that way. Though they wouldn’t talk to us on-camera, a spokeswoman says: “The signs are a proactive step to prevent injury and property damage.” She even pointed to our own story from last winter as a good example of why the signs are necessary.

But for Ron Hart, the question remains. If you’re a plow driver do you really need a reminder not to push snow off a bridge? “I think they could much better use the $40,000 somewhere else,” says Hart. But, the state says, safety first. The snow is coming all too soon, we’ll see.

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