Pennsylvania's Purple Paint Law - Opinion

I want to start off by saying that I am no way arguing against the posting of private property. I understand why people post their land and do not disagree with it.  I do however have an issue with the “Purple Paint Law”

The purple paint law states that landowners may use purple paint to make their property boundaries instead of signs.  Ther are a few criteria required when using the purple paint. “Landowners using purple paint to post their properties [must] use vertical purple lines that are at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The bottom of the mark must be no less than 3 feet or more than 5 feet from the ground. And painted marks are not more than 100 feet apart.” (PGC)

I fully understand the “why” of this law. It is easier and cheaper for landowners to post their property with paint than it is with signs. It is also a lot harder to destroy a paint marker than a sign, and there is also the argument that several other states now have purple paint laws, so it is becoming more universal.

My argument against this is that the purple paint is hard to see, especially in low light conditions.  Most hunters and fisherman are often entering the woods before daylight. It is nearly impossible to see these markings unless your flashlight or head lamp directly hits the tree that is painted.  Maybe it’s just because of the particular shade of purple being used.  It is a dark color that is hard to see in low light conditions.  Perhaps something like neon pink might be better.  All I know is that the signs jump out from the background better and that I have never had an issue not seeing them.

I am the type of person that would never knowingly enter posted property, but since this has gone into effect, I have unknowingly entered posted property no less than three times.  Each time I only saw the purple paint as I was exiting the property and panicked because I didn’t know I had trespassed. I have had a million “what if” scenarios enter my mind because I wouldn’t want to cause any issues with the landowner. It is worth noting, however, that each time this has happened it has been on newly posted property.  Places I had been before that were not posted the previous season.  Once I know that they have been posted I would, obviously, not return.

My worry is that in the long run this might cause more headaches than it solves.  In my opinion it will just lead to more people accidentally entering property they shouldn’t be on.  I know that if I were a landowner, I would want it to be clearly marked that my property is private to prevent accidental trespass and hopefully reduce the need to press charges or pursue litigation.

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