RECALCITRANT advertisers who insist on pasting their illegal materials on road infrastructure, including lamp posts and bus stops, will face a heavier penalty from this month.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday in a press statement that repeat offenders will be fined $500, up from $400. The penalty for a first-time offender remains at $300.
The stiffer fine will be a stronger deterrent for repeat offenders, who account for nearly half of those issued with summonses.
Of the 490 people caught between 2010 and last year, 230 were repeat offenders and 43 of them have been charged in court. Those prosecuted in court face fines of up to $2,000.
Overall, however, the LTA said it has seen a downward trend for offences, although it did not disclose figures.
It attributed this to its preventive measures, such as anti-stick paint and the setting up of low-cost advertisement boards.
Anti-stick paint, in use since 2010, has been applied to more than 16,900 lamp posts and road-related facilities at about 600 locations.
The unique coating makes it difficult for ads to be pasted and helps to reduce the labour time and cost needed to remove them.
The LTA said in earlier reports that these measures help save up to $10,000 a year. "Since the introduction of the anti-stick paint, it has helped to reduce the number of illegal advertisements on street infrastructure and maintain the overall cleanliness of public streets," it said.
Additionally, the LTA has been providing low-cost advertisement boards near selected MRT stations with high pedestrian traffic since 2011.
There are now 52 advertisement boards at 45 places, including the neighbourhoods of Bedok, Jurong East, Bishan and Tampines. Advertisers can put up A5-size notices on these boards, for a minimum of two weeks, at 50 cents a day per advertisement.
The LTA said it will continue to monitor if the anti-stick paint should be used at more locations, and if more advertisement boards need to be set up.
Retiree Tan Kok Tim, who is in his 60s, and visits Geylang daily, said many lamp posts in the area are rife with illegal advertisements offering anything from tuition services to rental flats and air-con servicing.
Ads are also found on the concrete columns under train tracks near Aljunied MRT station, he said. "The authorities can set up a website, or a feedback e-mail channel, where people can be encouraged to report on such illegal ads by snapping a photograph," Mr Tan said.
This article was first published on June 11, 2015.
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