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Business Management

Playing By the Rules

Sign legislation produces its usual mixed bag

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The settlement of legislation that impacts the sign industry can cut both ways. In an obvious victory, the Illinois General Assembly recently passed HB2764, which amended the Highway Advertising Control Act of 1971, and exempted on-premise signs from additional, state-issued permits. Although the old law could conceivably remain in effect until August, the amended bill grants relief to signs that are located within 660 ft. of interstate and primary highways and “visible” to motorists.

Previously, owners of such signs could be required to fill out the three-page Illinois DOT Form 9003, which essentially concerns outdoor advertising, and pay a one-time $50 fee. Illinois hadn’t begun to enforce the law until October 2012. The two ISAs (the Illinois Sign Assn. and the Intl. Sign Assn.) worked together to achieve the amendment.

On a completely separate note, OSHA recently announced plans to push the compliance date for requiring crane-operator certification back to November 10, 2017. The rule had been scheduled to go into effect in November 2014. In general terms, the sign industry would view this as a victory. However, certification lasts five years. The scrupulous companies that earned the certifications could conceivably have them lapse before the regulation officially goes into effect. Of course, they receive the benefit of having better-trained operators, but they’ve also expended time and money that their competitors perhaps hadn’t.

So, unfortunately, in the sense of fair play, sign companies may now treat such mandates like high-school term papers and wait until the last minute, just in case delays ensue.
 

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