OKLAHOMA CITY – We’re less than a week before the general election, and state officials are urging candidates and volunteers to help save taxpayer money by keeping their political signs away from Oklahoma highways.
Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation say that while areas along highways or bridges may seem like a great place to put a political sign, it is actually illegal.
State law prohibits any materials being placed in highway right-of-ways because they are a safety hazard for traffic and highway workers. Within city limits, candidates should check local ordinances for questions regarding municipally maintained rights of way. However, even within city limits, signs are prohibited on state-maintained highways, overpasses and bridges.
Agency officials urge all candidates and their campaign staffs to keep signs away from these areas. Instead, they should place signs on private property with the landowner’s permission.
When signs are illegally placed, ODOT crews spend time away from other highway maintenance operations to pick up each sign. Taxpayers are ultimately footing the bill since the cleanup costs use highway maintenance funds.
Each year, authorities say more than $5 million is spent to pick up trash along Oklahoma highways, including illegally placed signs.