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MnDOT urges keeping event signs, items for sale away from highway rights of way

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reminds citizens that placing unauthorized signs and other objects on state highway rights 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, MnDOT'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 highways' rights 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.

MnDOT 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.