The Florida Turnpike might look less festive this holiday season after a government agency banned Christmas decorations from toll booths.
"You want to feel joy and I feel like somebody's trying to keep me down," employee Lana Fontanetta told WTSP-TV. "I am a Christian and I'm not afraid to say it."
Fontanetta said the annual Christmas tree and garland were removed from the public view under new rules implemented by the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, which is part of the state Department of Transportation.
"I feel like somebody's trying to tell me not to celebrate or how to celebrate,"
But Christa Deason, a spokeswoman for the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, said that's not the case at all. She said all decorations were banned after getting complaints from drivers. "Not all of our toll collectors are Christians," she told Fox News Radio. "Not all of the three million people a day who drive on the turnpike are Christians."
She said the policy was put in place before Christmas and will impact every holiday, noting that some Christian groups had complained about Halloween decorations in the toll booths.
"We have enough distractions in the toll booths and on the roadway," she said. "And we want to be inclusive of everyone."
That's why workers were told to remove a Christmas tree in the lobby of a toll booth plaza and relocate it to an employee break room. Deason said it could be seen from the roadway.