MADISONVILLE, Ky. (March 17, 2014) – In coming weeks, all campaign and other temporary advertising signage illegally placed on state highway rights of way will be removed to maintain safety. According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) officials, signs show up along state highways in greater numbers during election years.
KYTC District 2 Chief Engineer Kevin McClearn said the agency is asking candidates and citizens to make sure their signs do not encroach on state right of way.
“Political signs can pose safety issues. The wires used to support them can create hazards for crews and the public if they are hit by mowers. In addition, temporary advertising signs can limit the view of oncoming traffic, especially near intersections and driveways,” McClearn said.
Kentucky law and KYTC policy prohibit the placement of political or other advertising signs on state rights of way, including signs attached to utility poles or fences within the area.
“We are asking candidates and their supporters to do the right thing now by removing signs placed on state property,” McClearn said. “Our crews will remove them, if required. However, the time they spend policing political signs means they have less time for patching potholes and safety-related maintenance activities.”
Enforcement of the sign prohibition can be difficult because right of way boundaries can vary by highway and location. All signage should be behind sidewalks. In areas without sidewalks, all signs should be behind the ditch line and outside areas commonly mowed or maintained by highway crews.
On four-lane highways with controlled access or limited access, no signs should be placed on the highway side of the fence line or on the fence itself.
Illegally placed signs picked up by highway crews will be moved to the state highway garage in each county. A candidate or a campaign representative may reclaim them by showing identification and completing a claim form. Unclaimed signs will be discarded after five working days.
“Employees who are removing signs are acting in the best interest of all motorists and of maintenance crews,” State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle said. “We appreciate the public’s cooperation and understanding.”
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 is responsible for 3,300 miles of roadway in Hancock, Ohio, Muhlenberg, Christian, Hopkins, McLean, Daviess, Henderson, Union, Webster, and Caldwell counties.