As we get further into the political season, signs touting a certain candidate will start to blossom like wild spring flowers. However, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) reminds political candidates that campaign signs are not permitted within right-of-way on state highways according to Section 63-3-317 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 Annotated.
The width of highway right-of-way varies by location and includes the driving lanes, shoulders and mowed areas; the right-of-way can potentially reach distances of 300 feet or more from the centerline of driving lanes.
To maintain traffic safety, campaigns placing signs along roadways are reminded of the following:
- Illegally placed campaign signs contribute to our state’s $3.2 million litter problem that spoils Mississippi’s natural beauty.
- Any illegally placed signs will be removed.
- Keeping the right-of-way clear prevents safety hazards and interference with the traveling public along roadways.
- Signs with steel or wooden posts pose potential hazards that may cause harm to roadside workers, may damage roadside equipment and may become projectiles if hit by mowers.
- Signs are not permitted within areas necessary for clear vision at intersections; signs must not interfere with the sight distance of a driver.
- No signs are allowed in limited access right-of-way.
- Typically, the right-of-way is larger near roadway intersections.
- Signs removed by MDOT crews will be kept for two weeks at a local MDOT maintenance facility before being discarded.
- Candidates may retrieve signs from MDOT without penalty.
For information about right-of-way distances in specific areas along a state-maintained highway, call your local MDOT maintenance facility.