Family fights Southampton town to keep up sign about impaired driving

The sign says, "Save a life - do not text and drive." The flip side of the sign says, "Do not drive under the influence."

News 12 Staff

Jul 28, 2021, 8:42 PM

Updated 997 days ago


A family who lost a loved one in a crash is fighting the town of Southampton to keep up a roadside sign opposing impaired driving.
The sign says, "Save a life - do not text and drive." The flip side of the sign says, "Do not drive under the influence."
Homeowner Susan Tocci put them up on her personal property in Flanders. Her sister Barbara and her nephew's fiancé were both killed in 2014 in separate crashes.
Police say texting was to blame in the accident involving Tocci's sister, and in the other accident the driver was high.
Tocci says she has received a couple of complaints over the years, but within the last year there's been a flurry of complaints from one person. She says that person complained to the town and wants the signs removed.
Some of the messages Tocci has received say, 'Are we to live with this obnoxious sign forever?' and 'This is what a cemetery is for. These are very disturbing and distracting to drivers and should be taken down.'
On the other hand, Tocci says some drivers have stopped to tell her the signs are a great reminder.
Tocci has received code violations from the town. She plans to go before a judge in August to fight it or see if there's a way something can be adjusted so she can keep the signs up.
Ryan Murphy, from the town of Southampton Code Enforcement, says, "The violation was really just that the sign is a freestanding sign on the property. The town code limits signage on residential properties to signs that indicate where a driveway might be, house numbers/names, for sale signs and some other small and temporary signage. The town is actively working with Ms. Tocci to try and identify solutions to the issues. We recognize that the attempt of the sign is to help spread positive messaging about the ill effects of distracted and drunk driving. We are also empathetic to the desire of Ms. Tocci and her family to remember their loved ones that were unfortunately lost to tragic accidents. We hope that we can come to a resolution that allows for the Toccis to honor the memories of their family members, as well as continue to promote safe driving on our roadways."

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