MnDOT urges keeping event signs, items for sale away from highway right of way
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds citizens that placing unauthorized signs and other objects on state highway right of way is illegal and can distract drivers and obstruct their vision.
"With summer here, we are already seeing an increase in advertising signs and items for sale placed illegally along state highways to attract the attention of passing motorists," said Steve Lund, Mn/DOT's state maintenance engineer. "Signs created to attract a driver's eye can easily distract motorists from paying full attention to driving."
Placing signs or objects in highway right of way is a misdemeanor violation punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail. Highway rights of way include driving lanes, shoulders, ditches, clear zones and sight corners at intersections.
State law also says that signs and other items may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits but in proximity to a roadway without consent of the landowner.
Mn/DOT crews will remove all signs within the right of way without notice.
Unauthorized signs include, but are not limited to - real estate open houses, garage sales and various public and private events and activities.
Large items commonly found in rights of way include cars and other vehicles, boats and motors, campers and travel trailers, commercial stands and large bales of hay. These objects:
--Present safety concerns.
--Inhibit proper drainage.
--Restrict mowing, spraying and other road maintenance activities.
For information about roadway regulations, right of way boundaries or where to find signs and items that have been removed, contact Jim Utecht, Mn/DOT property management supervisor for west central Minnesota, at (218) 846-7950.