A dozen traffic signs and equipment on the Miladinovci-Stip motoway have been scribbled all over with pro-Russian propaganda symbols. The symbol “Z”, that glorifies Russian military invasion of Ukraine and found written on Russian military vehicles used to invade Ukraine along with “Brotherly Russia” type slogans, have recently been spray-painted on the traffic signs on the motorway, at the stretch from the “Preod” toll-pay near Sveti Nikola to the entrance in Stip.
Few days ago, Meta.mk noticed the act of vandalism, which in addition to spreading foreign propaganda in the country in a very cheap fashion, presents real danger to traffic safety, because the traffic signs should serve to inform drivers operating their vehicles.
Од Јавното претпријатие за државни патишта во изјава за Мета.мк упатуваат апел за разбирање на опасноста од нанесување графити на сообраќајната сигнализација и опремата на патот. Објаснуваат дека со ваквиот чин се менува содржината на сигнализацијата, со што возачите остануваат неинформирани за условите на патот, што пак може да доведе до сообраќајни незгоди со тешки последици и жртви.
In a statement given to Meta.mk, the Public Enterprise for State Roads made a public appeal warning about the danger of applying graffiti to traffic signals and road equipment. They explained that such an act changes the content of signaling, leaving the drivers uninformed about the road conditions, which in turn can lead to traffic accidents with serious consequences and casualties.
Even though drivers are charged a toll for using the Miladinovci-Stip motorway, the Public Enterprise for State Roads claims that the responsibility for maintenance of traffic signs is not within its competence.
“The Public Enterprise for State Roads subcontracts the maintenance of the state roads to the Public Enterprise for Maintenance and Protection of Main and Regional Roads (Macedonia-road)”, said the Public Enterprise for State Roads.
As part of the Agreement between the two public enterprises, the Maintenance and Protection of State Roads Programme for 2023 includes the provision of inspection and duty service for detecting irregularities on the road and then, by means of rendering services to specific stretches, remediates – as in this case – the removal of graffiti from the traffic signs.
Applying graffiti on road signs, regardless of the content, or the level of damage inflicted, is illegal in accordance with the Law on Road Traffic Safety. The Public Enterprise for State Roads does not have the authority nor the opportunity to detect the perpetrators of such illegal actions”, answered the State Road Public Enterprise.
Yesterday, Meta.mk also sent questions to the Public Enterprise for Protection and Maintenance of Main and Regional Roads – Macedonia-road, but until the publication of this article no reply was received to the question whether vandalism with the traffic signs was noticed, what actions will be undertaken to remove such graffiti from the traffic signs and whether the enterprise had discovered perpetrators of such an act of vandalism.
This article was developed within the framework of the project “Promoting Access to Reliable News to Counter Disinformation”, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. The article, which has been published on the Macedonian-language version of Truthmeter, was produced with the support of the American non-profit foundation NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The contents of the article is the responsibility of the author and do not always reflect the positions of Metamorphosis Foundation, NED or their partners.