What Are Those Yellow Grids on Telephone Poles in Chester County?

The yellow grids found on telephone poles just before intersections are meant to make poles visible at night so drivers do not hit them. Image via MONTCO Today.

Show of hands.

How many of you have been driving down the road and noticed those yellow grids attached to telephone poles at just about windshield height? And once you spotted one, you started looking around for more?

So that’s just about everyone. Thanks.

The grids are affixed to poles within 15 feet of a street, and can be found on more than half of PECO’s 400,000 poles in the five-county region, said Richard Cornforth, director of engineering in PECO’s technical services department, in a story by Patricia Madej for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The utility company has been using the reflective panels since 2007 — switching from smaller white reflectors used before then.

Cornforth said he’s not aware of any utilities using them outside the Mid-Atlantic region, but it’s becoming a shared best practice among Exelon companies. He also said the grids are meant to make poles visible at night so drivers do not hit them, but he’s not aware of any statistics showing if they are effective.

The grids weren’t manufactured for that reason, though. They are just the leftovers from the reflective ID tag digits that go on poles and equipment.

Read more about the yellow grids in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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