JACKSON, Ky. – The placement of advertising signs on Kentucky state highway right of way is against the law. These signs interfere with maintenance operations and can pose safety hazards for motorists. Despite this legal prohibition, the number of signs being improperly placed is increasing, especially since this is a local election year.
Beginning next week, personnel from the Kentucky Department of Highways District 10 will remove signs illegally placed on state right of way. Signs that interfere with mowing or maintenance activity will be targeted, along with signs that impede sight distance for drivers or pose other safety hazards. District 10 includes the east-central and southeastern Kentucky counties of Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Magoffin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell and Wolfe.
“Our spring mowing season will start shortly,” said Corbett Caudill, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 10. “Signs placed in our mowing zones prevent our employees and contractors from doing their jobs, and the signs can become safety hazards if they are run over by the mowers. In addition, driver safety is negatively impacted by signs that are placed in such a manner that they keep drivers from seeing oncoming traffic at intersections, or are located in areas where drivers who run off the road can attempt to regain control of their vehicles.”
“This is a matter of safety, not only for motorists but for workers who put their lives at risk every day to maintain our roads,” Caudill continued.
Various Kentucky state laws, administrative regulations and Transportation Cabinet policies prohibit the placement of political or other advertising signs on state right of way. This includes any signs attached to utility poles within the state right of way.
Transportation Cabinet officials in Frankfort routinely direct maintenance personnel to remove these illegal. After the first round of sign removal, it is possible that another sweep will be required at some point before the May primary election.
Any signs removed will be kept for two weeks at the state highway garage in the county where they were picked up. Sign owners may claim their signs during that period. After two weeks, the signs will be discarded.
“When our employees take down illegal signs, they are simply doing their jobs as required by law and as directed by the Department of Highways," Caudill said. "We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of the public.”
In addition to political signs, KYTC personnel will also be removing signs advertising services such as high speed Internet and satellite television, work-at-home opportunities and any other illegal encroachments.