Campaigns reminded to keep political signs out of highway rights-of-way
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2016
Press Release #16-008
As Oklahoma elections draw closer and campaigns kick into high gear, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is reminding candidates and volunteers to obey the law and avoid embarrassment by not placing campaign signs in state rights-of-way, the area between fences and highways. In fact, state law says that political signs don’t belong along highways or on bridges or overpasses.
Illegally-placed campaign signs jeopardize public safety by distracting or blocking the view of drivers and put volunteers in harm’s way when placing signs near busy highways and interstates or on bridges. Additionally, these signs create hazards for maintenance workers and equipment.
Oklahoma taxpayers foot the bill for removal of illegally-placed signs and other litter. More than $4 million is spent each year, plus untold volunteer hours, for trash pick-up along Oklahoma highways. That’s in addition to what county and municipal governments spend to keep their roads clean.
Instead of wasting time and money placing campaign signs that will be removed, candidates and volunteers should display signs on private property with the landowner’s permission. In city limits, campaigns should check local ordinances for questions regarding locally maintained rights-of-way. However, even within city limits, these signs are prohibited on state-maintained highways, overpasses and bridges.
(Editors and News Directors: The specific statute prohibiting signs and other structures on the public right of way is located at 69 O.S. § 1208 (b). For more information call the ODOT Media & Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)