HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – You probably don't like seeing graffiti on signs and concrete barriers as you drive along Interstate 95, but you will probably like it even less when you learn how much of your money is spent cleaning it up. And taggers, take notice -- the Florida Department of Transportation is watching you.
Graffiti is splashed on the surface of an I-95 Express lane project toll hub near the southbound Sheridan Street exit.
And while the colorful act of defacing public property may not be offensive to all, perspectives may change when you consider who will eventually be picking up the tab to clean it up -- you.
The FDOT spent more than $28,000 last fiscal year to spruce up after unsightly spray paint was plastered on overhead signs and sound walls along I-95 and Interstate 595. And that's just for District 4, an area stretching from Broward County to Indian River County.
And when the self-serving desire to be seen is that bad, the entire sign has to be replaced.
A recent rash of graffiti cases got FDOT to implement new protocols. They will now be keeping a closer eye on the cameras mounted near signs and structures prone to vandalism, calling police the moment they spot suspicious activity.
The new protocols, which started about a month ago, will continue into the new year.
Amount spent on graffiti removal:
- Fiscal year: 2009-2010; Vandalized area: 106,000 square feet; Cost: $14,923.73
- Fiscal year: 20010-2011; Vandalized area: 99,990 square feet; Cost: $15,366.64
- Fiscal year: 2011-2012; Vandalized area: 186,620 square feet; Cost: $33,241.60
- Fiscal year: 2013-2014; Vandalized area: 111,023 square feet; Cost: $28,146.62
- Fiscal year: 2014-to date; Vandalized area: 4,796 square feet; Cost: $6,263.47