Photo: WTSP

“Snipe signs — you see them everywhere; while you’re driving, walking or riding your bike. You probably had no idea how many problems they cause.

Now, two men in Hillsborough County have made it their mission to get rid of as many illegal signs as possible. The public can help, too.

Sometimes even before the sun is up, Jim Reed and Bill Staley hit the pavement along State Road 60 in Brandon. One after another, they pick up the signs that they call ‘roadside spam.’

‘Free TVs, free money, we will pay for your rent, we will give your groceries, this that,’ Reed said.

Snipe signs are illegal in the right-of-way in Hillsborough County. The signs can’t be installed on public property, but the law is difficult to enforce. It is why drivers and pedestrians see these signs at busy intersections in the county…

Anyone can pick up the signs. They are considered litter. Besides the fact that they are not visually appealing, the signs end up in storm drains, can be a hazard to the county crews and can promote scams.

There is a lengthy list of prohibited signs in Section 7.02.02 of the county code. It is important to note that most of these signs are allowed on private property.

‘We have collected 56,000 signs from Eastern Hillsborough County,’ Staley said.

That’s about 150 signs per week. Last year, Hillsborough County Code Enforcement officers picked up an added 70,000 snipe signs.

It’s important to note that Staley and Reed can’t show partiality, but they do not always pick up lost pet signs or yard sale signs right away. The pair picks up everything else, sometimes right after the sign is put up. Staley and Reed have volunteered for almost seven years and hope the community learns a lesson…

Anyone who wants to volunteer to help pick up snipe signs should visit the Hillsborough County website. If you decide to go out on your own, remember not to pick up signs on private property.”

— Hilary Zalla, WTSP

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