PARIS – During campaign season the scenic Texas landscape blooms with a special kind of flower – the political sign. TxDOT officials remind the public that placing campaign and other signs on public lands is illegal.
Signs and other objects that encroach the right of way create safety violations and potentially dangerous situations for motorists. Consider and remember these pointers before planting any sign:
- It is illegal to place any type of sign on or within the right of way. This includes posting signs on trees, telephone poles, traffic signs and other objects on the right of way.
- Campaign signs along Texas roads can be placed on private property with the landowner’s permission. Landowners can be held liable if there is an accident and objects they place on the right of way are directly or indirectly involved.
- Campaign signs may be posted no earlier than 90 days before an election and must be removed within 10 days after the election.
- Before placing a sign inside of incorporated city limits, check with the city for applicable ordinances.
Signs must meet some basic criteria. They must be made of lightweight material and can be up to 50 square feet in size. Signs placed on the right of way or posing a traffic hazard will be removed without prior notice. All costs associated with removal will be paid by the sign owner.
Political candidates and their supporters are also reminded that it is illegal to put any sign on state highway right of way without authorization. TxDOT’s regulatory authority allows the immediate removal of a sign placed on state highway right of way without prior notice if the sign is not authorized by state law or approved by TxDOT. The penalty for violating this law is a fine of up to $500 per sign.
The law also applies to other signs. It is illegal to put any sign, including garage sale and business signs on state highway right of way without authorization. “Sign” is defined as any outdoor sign, display, light device, figure, painting, drawing, message, plaque, or other thing that is designed and/or intended to advertise or inform.
Right of ways vary statewide. Contact the TxDOT county maintenance office nearest you for help in determining legal sign placement.