With the campaign season in full swing, candidates in the upcoming May 12 primary election are being reminded of the strict regulations regarding outdoor advertising.
“The law bans political signs and stickers from DOH Right of Way locations, especially highway shoulders, traffic signs or devices, trees, stones, fence posts, and utility poles,” West Virginia Secretary of Transportation Byrd White emphasized.
“In addition to being illegal, political ‘bumper stickers’ on Highways’ signs cost state taxpayers thousands of dollars each year – because signs must be replaced.
“DOH workers will pull any signs from state rights-of-way and, for a short time, will store them in county Highways’ offices to be picked up by candidates or their representatives,” White said.
Candidates should also remember:
❖ Violation of the laws may result in fines – as much as a per day, per sign fine, according to officials.
❖ It is illegal to post campaign signs on the side of the road.
❖ Campaign signs posted on West Virginia Division of Highways’ right-of-way is illegal, including road shoulders, traffic signs, trees, rocks, fence posts or utility poles. That right-of-way can extend up to 20 feet from the center highway line, depending on the locations.
❖ When signs are posted illegally, they are considered roadside litter, according to state law, and can be picked up.
❖ Signs cannot hinder the clear, unobstructed view of approaching or merging traffic, or obscure from view any traffic sign or other official sign, or any connecting road or intersection.
❖ Signs cannot be placed within 500 feet of a church, school, cemetery, public park, public playground, public reservation, state or national forest, or voting polls.
❖ Overhead banners are not permitted across roadways.
❖ Signs placed on private property require the permission of the land owner.
❖ Land companies do not give candidates permission to post campaign signs on their property.
❖ Violators can also be held responsible for the cost of removing the signs.
• The laws not only apply to candidate signs, but to businesses and others posted illegally.
For more information, visit https://transportation.wv.gov/highways/traffic/outdooradvertising or West Virginia Division of Highways’ Traffic Engineering Division at 304-558-3063.