In an interesting story from the Washington Post, a church in Vienna, Virginia was issued a warning letter recently about their LED sign. The problem? Apparently the church changed the text of the sign more than two times in a 24-hour period.
According to Fairfax County law, LED signs cannot be changed more than two times a day; Vienna United Methodist Church’s sign was changed three times. The horror. A letter was sent from the county warning the church to either fix the problem or remove the sign altogether. The two could not reach a compromise during a meeting in late July. The church has filed a lawsuit against the county citing free speech and religious freedom.
Setting aside the rationale and history of the ordinance itself (a topic that county workers will not talk about during the suit), apparently taxpayers in Fairfax County are paying workers to monitor LED signs throughout the day. After the third change of the LED sign, a city worker was on it!
I would imagine the county’s ordinance was designed to prevent a bunch of annoying and distracting LED lights around the county. But seriously, the county needs to use some discretion with how taxpayer money is spent to enforce its laws. Changing an LED sign three times instead of two in a 24-hour period hardly presents a distracting environment for drivers. This should be the least of the county’s worries, and I would expect them to be more respectful of local taxpayers and how their hard-earned money is being spent.