AUGUSTA — A recent rise in the prevalence of signs attached to utility poles has prompted Central Maine Power Company to remind the public that the practice can endanger utility workers and can lead to fines under Maine law.
“Come spring, yard-sale organizers, entrepreneurs, house painters, and other folks are looking for places to post signs,” said CMP Spokesman John Carroll. ”We wish them all well, but ask that they not use utility poles as bulletin boards. It can have lethal consequences.”
Carroll said utility workers typically use bucket trucks to work on poles, but some jobs or some terrain may require that workers climb or otherwise contact the pole. Nails, tacks, screws, and staples left in a pole from attaching signs or other objects can cause life-threatening holes or rips in insulating gloves, tear clothing, cut workers, or lead to other accidents that could hurt people and interrupt service.
“The potential hazards from unauthorized pole attachments are serious enough that the Maine Legislature has acted on them,” Carroll said. Attaching anything to a utility pole without permission of the owner is a civil offense that can draw a fine of up to $100.
The offense, “Trespass on a utility pole,” is described in Title 35-A of Maine statutes, Chapter 23, Section 2310. The text is on the State of Maine web site at http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/35-A/title35-Asec2310.html.
“We urge the public to help us maintain a safe electric system for line workers and customers by putting signs on stakes or other safe locations, not on utility poles,” Carroll said.
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