State regulates placement of campaign signs along highways

Feb 7, 2012

AUSTIN - State transportation officials are reminding citizens and candidates of the laws regulating their campaign sign placement on state highway right of way.

Submitted to KETR:

Political elections are usually accompanied by an increase in the number of campaign signs placed along roadways this time of year. Under Texas law, it is a class C misdemeanor to place any sign on state highway right of way. The penalty for violating this law is a fine of up to $500 per sign.

It is legal to place a campaign sign on private property adjacent to state highways with landowners' permission. Restrictions require that signs be constructed of lightweight material and limited to 50 square feet in size. 

Signs may be placed as early as 90 days prior to an election and must be removed within 10 days after an election. 

TxDOT officials say the laws are intended to reduce clutter along highways so that official traffic control signs and vehicles approaching intersections are clearly visible for the safety of all the traveling public. 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 the department.

Signs posing potential safety hazards will be removed as soon as possible. Removed signs will be stored at the maintenance office in such a manner as to minimize possible damage to the sign/encroachment. 

The removed sign may be disposed after 10 days from removal.  The sign may be returned to the owner after payment of appropriate removal costs.  

Texas is subject to the Federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965. Under the federal law, if the state fails to control signage visible from interstate and other federally-funded highways, Texas may be subject to sanctions of up to 10 percent of its federal transportation construction funds.