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Farmer in Ship Cove wants signs near farm for safety

Sam Jesso of Ship Cove on the Port au Port Peninsula poses for a photo holding one of the signs he purchased for alongside the road near his home that can’t be used because it’s the wrong shape.
Sam Jesso of Ship Cove on the Port au Port Peninsula poses for a photo holding one of the signs he purchased for alongside the road near his home that can’t be used because it’s the wrong shape. - Submitted

After spending what he claims to be about $500 in signs, Sam Jesso, a farmer on the Port au Port Peninsula now wants the Department of Transportation and Works to put up signage for safety.

He had the signs made at a sign shop in Ontario but has since been told by the Department of Transportation and Works they can’t be placed alongside the road near his farm in Ship Cove because of their shape and sizes.

Jesso said the department offered to put up Slow Down, Cattle Crossing signs but he specifically wants either Slow Down, Livestock Crossing or Slow Down, Farm Animals signs placed in the area.

“I do have my animals fenced in but at times they get out. It’s all a safety concern because there’s a lot of traffic on that road,” he said.

Jesso said sometimes moose knock down a fence or people leave gates open and let the animals out.

“I want government to erect signs that meet the national and provincial standards,” he said.

Jesso is also looking for Slow Down, Duck Crossing signs as he said wild ducks are mixing in with his tame ducks and they make their way across the road in the spring to summer months.

He said already several of them have been killed by vehicles on the road.

Jesso said he’s aware of Slow Down, Duck Crossing signs in Arnold’s Cove and Bay Roberts, so he can’t see why they can’t be placed near his home.

John Finn, MHA for Stephenville-Port au Port, said he and his office have been communicating with Jesso since he brought forward the issue in mid-November.

He said his office connected him with officials in the department and the minister’s office.

“Right now we have offered to install a Cattle Crossing sign but he wants something different,” Finn said.

He said government is open to reviewing its provincial regulations and will do everything it can to help Jesso. He said he is committed to Jesso and officials coming to a mutually understandable arrangement.

Minister Steve Crocker wasn’t available for an interview due to commitments in the House of Assembly but issued a statement, which read that all signs erected along provincial highways meet national and provincial safety standards recognized throughout the country. This is done to ensure signs are consistent, recognizable and easy for people to understand.

Deviating from the standards could lead to residents erecting signs that are too small, difficult to read, unnoticeable and ineffective.

He said in the statement the Department of Transportation and Works has proposed alternatives to Jesso, such as using a standard diamond shaped warning sign, and will continue to work with him to resolve the matter.

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