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Campaign signs prohibited in rights-of-way
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Political candidates are reminded by local and state agencies not to place signs on rights of way.

Signs that are found on state rights of way will be removed by Georgia Department of Transportation maintenance crews, the Ga. DOT warned in a released statement.

Signs placed on the rights of ways in the City of Conyers must be 5 feet off of the right of way, according to Conyers Police spokesperson Kim Lucas. Within city limits, candidates can have up to two signs per parcel of land with the property owners' permission and the signs themselves can be up to 6 square feet.

If candidates' signs do encroach, the signs will be confiscated; if signs are bigger than the allotted square feet, city code enforcement will respond and advise that the sign be must be removed, said Lucas. She added, "Issuing citations to be heard in the Municipal Court is a possibility, but hopefully it would not come to that."

On state roads and interstates, any sign must meet safety standards and be permitted by Georgia DOT to be within the state right of way.

Typically signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale and/or political candidates on Department land adjacent to state roads. None of those types of signs are allowed and will be removed by Ga. DOT personnel.

Georgia Code 32-6-51 states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to erect, place or maintain within the right of way of any public road any sign, signal or other device except as authorized by subsection (d) of this Code section." Any person who violates the advertising restrictions of Georgia Code 32 "shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in Code Section 32-6-91."

"In the midst of this political season, Georgia DOT would like to clarify the laws that deal with signs along State Routes and Interstates," explained Georgia DOT District Maintenance Engineer Bayne Smith. "As part of our routine maintenance work; the Department will remove ANY and ALL signs from our right of way. Right of way is defined as the strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads or power lines are built and maintained. It is a wise practice to ask the property owner where the right of way line is when you get permission to install your sign on their property."

Signs that are removed from right of way by Department personnel will be held for a short while and then destroyed. To prevent the loss of signs, the Ga. DOT warns candidates in a released statement not to place signage within the state-owned rights of way.

Picking up the tons of trash that litter Georgia's highways costs the Department of Transportation more than $11 million every year.

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