Hampton street sign thefts costly, dangerous

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 | 3:09 PM

Street signs are going missing again in Hampton Township, which seems to happen every year, but there’s more harm to it than someone may realize, said Township Manager Christopher Lochner.

With no real idea who is taking the signs, or how they are becoming absent, Lochner said it seems to “mysteriously” happen about the same time every year. While it may seem like an innocent prank or nonserious theft, it’s a safety issue.

More than a navigational inconvenience, Lochner said an emergency medical person that does not regularly drive the area could not be as familiar with the roads. This means they could potentially not make it to a call for an emergency. The Township website notes signs can be especially critical in bad weather.

“You can put someone’s life in danger,” said Lochner.

Only a handful of signs have gone missing, but even five or more can present a safety issue, he said.

Also, it’s another cost to the Hampton taxpayer to replace, not to mention illegal.

Shaler-Hampton EMS director Eric Schmidt said it can definitely present a problem.

“We are fortunate today to have great technology (such as) computer-aided dispatch and GPS, coupled with a great 911 operator, that together support high-quality response. However, the technology is certainly not perfect and at times items such as street signs and house numbers can be critically important,” said Schmidt.

Lochner said they are asking anyone with security cameras that may have caught the sign thefts or reasons some went missing should contact the township by visiting hampton-pa.org.

Also, to report a missing sign, contact the township 412-486-0400.