Signs on Poles

Signs on Poles Create Hazards

Signs on poles create hazards and they're against the lawNOVEC has more than 62,000 utility poles on its system that are regularly inspected and maintained. These poles are not to be used as sign posts. Not only are these signs a blight on the landscape, distracting drivers and pedestrians; but more importantly, the nails, screws, and staples used to post signs present a safety hazard to our employees. And, they're against the law.

The damage is severe and expensive

The nails and screws used to post signs create direct and indirect hazards for NOVEC crews. The primary danger is that these sharp objects can tear the rubber gloves and sleeves our employees wear to protect them from getting electrocuted. A secondary danger is the damage that’s done to the pole. Over time, water seeps into holes surrounding nails, damaging the pole. Eventually the pole deteriorates and has to be replaced, creating another expense for NOVEC.

It’s against the law!

Ordinance 33.1-373 prohibits placement of signs on utility poles in the State of Virginia. In addition, Prince William County’s Public Works Department has a sign removal policy and actively prosecutes offenders. Since poles are located in rights of way, which are in the public domain, county clean-up crews are authorized to remove signs that are illegally posted.

NOVEC also removes signs from our utility poles. Companies and individuals posting signs on poles could face legal action or be fined for the cost of sign removal and disposal. For the safety of all concerned, please do not use NOVEC utility poles as sign posts.

For more information, contact NOVEC's customer care center by calling 703-335-0500 or by e-mail

Related links:

Prince William County - Roadside Advertising Signs

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