LANSING — State Representative Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit), was pleased to see his bill, House Bill 4187, pass the Senate unanimously today. After passing the House in January, the bill will now head to the governor for his signature. HB 4187 was introduced last year, and is meant to combat vandalism of public signs and property by establishing criminal penalties for the removal or destruction of traffic control devices, light posts or signs.

“I am so grateful to see this bill head to the governor now,” said Assistant Democratic Leader Durhal. “This has been an ongoing issue for the people of Detroit, and this kind of vandalism is one of the small but significant things that, every day, put the public at risk. There is not one single catch-all solution to bolstering public safety, but incremental changes like this are vital to ensuring we have neighborhoods that our residents feel safe and comfortable in.

Vandalism of this nature has been a growing problem in Detroit, with the Michigan Department of Transportation seeing a rise in the stripping of copper wire from state-owned lighting along I-94 and I-75. In addition, graffiti continues to be an issue on public signage, in some cases blocking out vital traffic and route information altogether. HB 4187 aims to curb this by creating and enforcing strict penalties, including a misdemeanor charge on the first offense.

“This bill was important to me, and important to the people of Detroit,” said Rep. Durhal. “In this era of heightened partisanship, it is refreshing to see that legislators on both sides of the aisle can recognize the importance of common-sense solutions to basic problems. I look forward to seeing my bill signed shortly.”