As the political campaigning heats up in advance of the upcoming May 17 primary election, drivers are likely to see candidates’ campaign signs along roadsides. State laws govern where the signs may – and may not – be placed, and NC DOT has the authority to remove signs that are in violation of proper placement.
Anyone other than DOT employees who removes – or vandalizes – campaign signs could be subject to a Class 3 misdemeanor citation from law enforcement, according to a press statement released this week by NC DOT.
Campaign signs can remain in place for 10 days after the May 17 primary election. Signs still in the right-of-way after May 27 are in violation of state law, and the NCDOT is authorized to remove and dispose of them.
It is General Statute 136-32 (b) which states that political signs, if properly placed, are allowed on the NC DOT right-of-way until May 27.
“NCDOT has the authority to remove any signs that violate the general statute, create safety hazards for travelers or interfere with maintenance operations. NCDOT employees may remove signs that are illegally placed within the state right-of-way, as time permits. The signs are normally taken to local maintenance offices where they will be stored until claimed,” according to the press statement.
Restrictions regarding sign placement include:
• Whoever places a sign is required to get the permission of any property owner of a residence, business or religious institution fronting the right of way where a sign would be placed;
• No sign is permitted in the right of way of a limited-access highway such as an interstate;
• No sign can be closer than 3 feet from the edge of the pavement of the road;
• No sign can obscure motorist visibility at an intersection.
• No sign can be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement;
• No sign can be larger than 864 square inches; and
• No sign can obscure or replace another sign.