A MOTORING charity is urging councils to tackle the problem of obscured road signs.
The AA Motoring Trust was set up this year by breakdown rescue firm the AA to offer advice and conduct research into congestion, costs, safety, road conditions and traffic law.
The trust said drivers' lives could be at risk if vital road signs remain covered up with overgrown foliage.
No matter how much money is spent on road maintenance, the trust says, the annual problem of sign obstruction will continue until councils put aside money to deal with the problem.
Paul Watter, head of roads and transport policy for the AA Motoring Trust, said highway maintenance practice codes state signs must be kept visible and legible at all times.
"There almost seems to be an acceptance in some local authorities that this is an annual nuisance which we have to put up with.
"Highways authorities that do not carry out these simple maintenance tasks may find themselves defending their lack of action in court, should anybody be killed or seriously hurt."
The trust also said obscured road signs cause chaos for holidaymakers trying to navigate unfamiliar areas.
Concerns were also raised about drivers being prosecuted for road traffic offences caused because they did not see an obscured road sign.
The Trust advised motorists to report obscured signs to the council.
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said a system of regular inspections was in place for all roads, during which obstructing foliage was cleared from signs.
Foliage in general was also regularly cut back.
She said the council welcomed being told about obscured road signs on the 24-hour Ross Streetcare hotline on 0800 731 8765.