23 Aug 2014
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'Don't Put Political Signs in Right of Way,' GDOT Warns

Every political season campaign signs placed in the right of way are removed by maintenance crews from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

'Don't Put Political Signs in Right of Way,' GDOT Warns

UPDATED Monday, June 25, 1:56 p.m. - Every political season there are complaints of campaign signs being stolen, but often it’s not the opposing candidate’s camp that is to blame.

As in the past, the Georgia Department of Transportation is warning political candidates and campaigns not to place signs on rights of way. If they do, those signs will be removed - not by the opposing campaign, but by maintenance crews from GDOT.

“Unauthorized signs are against the law,” GDOT District Engineer Bayne Smith said in a press release. “All signs on the state system, which includes all interstates and state routes, must be approved and permitted in order to be placed on our right of way. Signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale and/or political candidates are types of signs that are not allowed and will be removed.”

The release quotes the following Georgia Code to back up the warning.

Georgia Code 32-6-51 states, "it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, place or maintain within the right of way of any public road any sign, signal or other device except as authorized by subsection (d) of this Code section." Any person who violates the advertising restrictions of Georgia Code 32 "shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 32-6-91."

In Roswell, "no sign is permitted in the public right of way; code enforcement makes periodic sweeps to remove such signs from the right of way," city Spokeswoman Julie Brechbill told Roswell Patch.

Right of way is the strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads or power lines are built and maintained.

“In the midst of this political season, we want to make sure that everyone understands the laws that deal with signs along state routes and interstates,” Smith said. “Signs that are removed from right of way by Department personnel will be held for 30 days and then destroyed.  If you don’t want to lose your signs, don’t place them within the right of way.”

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