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101 problems: Election posters blocking traffic signals and obstructing paths in Dublin

Most complaints are about posters being at a height that is too low or are obstructing traffic signals and signs.

A variety of election posters in Dublin city centre.
A variety of election posters in Dublin city centre.
Image: Sam Boal

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has received 101 complaints about election posters in the run up to the European and local elections on 24 May.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said that the majority of these complaints relate to posters that are at a height that is too low or are obstructing traffic signals and signs.

“The city council clearly outlines to candidates the minimum height posters may be erected at and where they may be located. Where posters are identified as being breach of these requirements, they are removed.”

It comes as the National Council for the Blind of Ireland decried those who hung posters incorrectly, and said there have been “multiple examples” of posters being hung too low. 

Numerous complaints have been sent to local authorities in the past about safety issues and election posters. Council staff have also raised objections to how posters are placed in various constituencies around the country.

The main concerns have been that some posters obstruct traffic lights and signs, for both pedestrians and motorists. 

Many of the problems are caused by posters that are erected on poles adjacent to signals or signs.

Complaints have also been made about posters that are hung below head height or resting on the ground. These posters can cause obstructions on footpaths and are particularly hazardous to the visually impaired, the council said.

Another concern by members of the public is protruding cable ties that are at a level that could cause injury to pedestrians, particularly children.

1POSTERS_90569584 Source: RollingNews.ie

There are no absolute rules for erecting posters during elections. As a general guide, Dublin City Council advises that posters should be displayed at a minimum height of 2.3 metres above footpaths, cycle tracks or any area to which pedestrians have access.

Posters should not be erected on poles with overhead line electricity feed, traffic lights, bridge parapets, overpasses, pedestrian bridges, or roadside traffic barriers.

The council also advises that posters should not obscure road signs or traffic signs in any way.

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) announced this week that it was launching a campaign urging people not to place obstacles in the way of people who are blind and visually impaired – including election posters.

Kevin Kelly, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns with NCBI said that some election candidates were showing “blatant disregard for electoral law and in particular the safety of people with impaired vision”.

Election posters are required to be a minimum of 2.1 metres (7ft) from the ground. The NCBI has seen multiple examples where this requirement is being ignored in the race for votes. 

He said that added to the debate about whether posters should be banned for environmental reasons, is the argument that they pose a danger to the visually impaired.

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