Across the street from the shul in Woodridge, NY, there is this sign
Is someone allowed to place such a "threatening" sign if he will not carry out the penalty, anyway? In this case, I think that most people reading the sign will find it humorous and know that this will not be the penalty. But, what if a sign says, "No parking, violators will have the car towed," and the property owner never tows a car?
Is that a case of lying since you're threatening action that you don't plan on carrying out? What about some form of deception (geneivat da'at)? Does it matter if the reader sees humor or assumes lack of enforcement, as in the first sign, or if he assumes that it will be enforced but sees that it isn't?