NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Crews have begun removing the “I Love New York” tourism signs on state highways.

The federal government said the blue signs were illegal and some of the writing is distracting to drivers.

The sign removal is part of a state deal with federal highway regulators to avoid a $14 million penalty.

As it turns out, the Federal Highway Administration has focused on the fact that the word “experience” on the signs is in italics, which they say is hard for drivers to read at high speeds.

The state put up more than 500 signs, in groups of five, several years ago despite being told they didn’t comply with federal regulations.

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