Campaign, non-official signage prohibited on state highway rights of way

As the May primary election nears, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reminds candidates and property owners that campaign signs, as well as other non-official signs, are not allowed on state highway rights of way.

“Our primary concern is one of safety, not only for motorists but also for our employees and contractors who work to maintain the state’s highways,” said Chief District Engineer Bart Bryant of Kentucky Department of Highways District 9. “To avoid blocking motorists’ views, interference with road work and other issues, we ask that campaign signs be displayed only on privately-owned property.”

Kentucky law and Transportation Cabinet policy prohibit the placement of non-official signs of any type – for campaigns, yard sales or other advertising – on state highway rights of way, utility poles, fences and guardrails or on road signs. Depending on size and construction, illegally placed signs are a distraction and can be a safety issue for motorists when blocking the view of oncoming vehicles.

Illegally-placed signs also can disrupt or endanger right-of-way operations such as mowing, ditch cleaning and litter removal, and can pose a direct safety hazard to motorists who run off the roadway – particularly when installed with large wooden or metal stakes.

Right of way boundaries vary by highway and location. Where right-of-way markers or fences are not visible, in general, all signage should be behind sidewalks or behind the ditch line and outside areas commonly mowed or maintained by highway crews. On four-lane highways with controlled access or limited access, no signs should be placed on the highway side of the fence or on the fence itself.

As crew scheduling allows, the Kentucky Department of Highways removes illegal signs. Signs that are removed will be held for 30 calendar days at state highway maintenance facilities and may be picked up at those locations by a representative of the candidate or business with proper identification. Unclaimed signs will be discarded after 30 days.

Employees who remove signs are acting in the best interest of all motorists and of maintenance crews. The Transportation Cabinet appreciates the public’s cooperation and understanding.

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