RICE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — They are often called “ghost poles” and they are located in just about every community in our region.

A Luzerne County Police Department and a State Lawmaker are teaming up to get state action on what they see as a growing safety hazard to the public.

These poles carry utility lines, whether it be power, cell, or phone lines.

So-called “ghost poles” have been around for years in just about every community.

Many damaged by a vehicle crash or are simply old and are rotting away.

You might be surprised to learn that the state has very limited control over the replacement of these poles.

There is a so-called “ghost pole” on Church Road in Rice Township.

The pole was hit by a vehicle about a month and a half ago and has not yet been repaired.

“There are vehicle crashes that brought poles down. There are some other lines that are hanging that seem to be well an issue. There were car crashes but they’re still hanging very low,” said Rice Township Police Department Chief Harry Ehret.

Rice Township police say this pole is owned by Frontier Communications and tells Eyewitness News it’s been a challenge getting something done about this so-called “ghost pole.”

Chief Erhet and State Representative Alec Ryncavage want some kind of action taken by the state to address situations like these.

“The problem becomes in the case of an emergency, maybe a car crash into a utility pole, one company is not allowed to touch another company’s lines. So in times of an emergency, you end up with companies moving one line at a time and there is no state laws that can set up a timeline for how long you have to fix these poles,” said Representative Ryncavage.

Ryncavage has been working with utilities and groups that represent utilities to get action on these so-called “ghost poles.”

“I have actually been meeting with all of the stakeholders meeting with utility companies whether they be cellular power or electricity. I’ve been bringing them together in Harrisburg to talk about this issue so that we can create laws that are not egregious to companies. We just want a level playing field. We are seeing the problem we have today,” Representative Ryncavage explained.

Joseph Saporito of Rice Township had a “ghost pole” on his property for years.

Lines are hanging on his lawn and he says he is frustrated that nothing is being done about it.

“It’s a pain and it’s ugly. I cut the grass you want your property to look okay. What happens, they are not doing anything,” said Saporito.

A spokesperson for Frontier did respond to an email from Eyewitness News Reporter Andy Mehalshick seeking comment on the ghost poles in Rice Township, that person asked for specific pole locations.

Reporter Mehalshick told that person the streets the poles were on and referred them to Chief Ehret in Rice Township.

A PUC spokesperson tells the I-team if people have safety concerns, they should also reach out to the PUC and they will give that information to their safety division to look into the situation.