Stop sign thefts causing accidents in Howland Township
A fair haven bus collided with another vehicle on Overlook and Flory Avenue in Howland Township Wednesday morning.
A stop sign was noticeably absent at the crash scene, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol believes this was the cause of the accident.
It's unclear how long the sign had been missing, but officials say kids are taking them.
Shortly after the crash, 21 News informed administrators of another stop sign missing at the intersection of Ridge and Woodbine that was replaced immediately.
Township administrators tell 21 News this is a big issue because it happens often.
People steal the signs. No one is notified, and then accidents happen. Replacing these signs is costing the township thousands of dollars.
"One year, it cost $17,000 to replace all the missing signs in the township," said Darlene St. George, Howland Township Administrator. "In a normal year, it's 1 to 2 thousand dollars a year," she said.
St. George encourages people to call the township when this happens because they have no way of knowing when a sign has gone missing unless it's brought to their attention.
"This is a very serious issue. Not only is it costly, but it could also cost someone their life," St. George said.
St. George tells 21 News this has been happening for nearly three decades and is now working with police for increased patrols around the area.