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Are campaign signs on highways costing taxpayers money? 

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OKLAHOMA CITY - With a primary election less than two weeks away, campaign signs are popping up everywhere.

However, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation says it can add up for taxpayers.

"Highways is just one of those where we allow no signs," said ODOT spokeswoman Terri Angier.

Angier said it's a good way to advertise, but a bad idea on state highways.

"Besides the litter, which is very unsightly, is the fact that it causes many safety problems," she said.

In fact - it's illegal.

Highways, interstates, bridges and overpasses are off-limits for all signs, not just those advertising for campaigns.

"The placing of campaign signs on highway right-of-ways, not necessarily city right-of-ways, but definitely highway right-of-ways is illegal," said Angier.

That leaves ODOT crews tasked with cleaning up the signs, and the cost falls onto taxpayers.

"It's about $5 million, of course not all that goes onto the campaign signs," said Angier.

The City of Oklahoma City tells News 4 it's also illegal to have signs on the right-of-ways of streets, boulevards and expressway medians.

The city has four part-time employees working to remove illegally placed signs, and so far, they've collected about 100 a day.

The city and state said signs can be placed along private property with the permission of the owners.

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