Georgia DOT Reminds the Public…
Election season always brings up accusations of political signs being removed by opponents or friends of opponents. The culprit, however, more often than not turns out to be the Georgia Department of Transportation and it’s got nothing to do with any particular candidate. The following press release was put out by the Georgia DOT to remind the public on the laws governing placing signs in the right of way
GAINESVILLE, Ga., –The Georgia Department of Transportation sends a friendly reminder that signage of any kind that is found in state right of way and is not previously authorized is unlawful and will be removed as soon as possible after discovery by Georgia DOT maintenance crews as part of the Department’s routine maintenance work.
Signs on the state highway system – interstates and state routes – must be approved and permitted to be placed on the right of way. The number of unauthorized political signs typically increases during an election year, but they are not the only problem. Signs that advertise yard sales, real estate or goods and services for sale are often found in the right of way. Unauthorized signs can distract drivers or obstruct their view and also can lead to debris that clogs drainage systems along highways and state routes during inclement weather, which creates safety hazards.
Georgia Code 32-6-51 states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, place or maintain within the right of way of any public road any sign, signal or other device except as authorized by subsection (d) of this Code section.”
The width of the right of way depends on the route. If there are power poles on the right of way, the edge is usually behind the poles. However, check with the property owner to determine the property line nearest the roadway.
It’s not unusual for GDOT maintenance employees to uproot several hundred signs during an election year. The signs are then taken back to our headquarters and held for 30 days; giving the owners an opportunity to reclaim them and if not reclaimed, then destroyed.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment