With the election only four weeks away, residents have been bombarded by advertisements for candidates – on television, cellphone screens and from brightly-colored yard signs – which, if placed in city-owned or state-owned public rights of way, are illegally displayed.
There are state laws, regulations and policies that govern the display of election campaign signs. While the Federal Communications Commission handles complaints about broadcast ads, it is local road officials who handle complaints about placement of yard signs.
The Missouri Department of Transportation sent out releases in June asking the public for their help in keeping the state-owned right of way clear of objects including political and other yard signs.
The placement of yard signs on rights of way can sometimes create a safety concern for motorists by blocking the visibility needed to safely proceed through an area as well as enter or exit driveways and streets. In other situations, the placement of a sign can become an obstacle for a driver to avoid in the event they must exit the roadway in an emergency. They can also make it difficult to mow or maintain the right of way. It's dangerous for persons, when installing or maintaining these signs, to be on highway rights of way in close proximity to traffic.
"When possible, the Missouri Department of Transportation tries to identify and contact a sign owner before removing a sign. Once a sign is removed, it is held for 30 days and can be retrieved from the local MoDOT maintenance facility," said Senior MoDOT Customer Relations Specialist Marisa Christy-Kerns.
For more information about this topic or other transportation-related matters, call 1-888-275-6636 or log on to www.modot.org.