ST. CLOUD, Minn. Placement of campaign signs and other unauthorized objects in state highway rights of way is prohibited under state law, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In addition, signs may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits without landowner consent.
Highway rights of way include the driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections.
MnDOT crews will remove any unlawfully placed signs and impound them at one of its local maintenance truck stations.
Violation of the law is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties also may apply if the placement of such material contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.
In addition, the Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act prohibits erecting advertising devices on public utility poles, trees and shrubs, and painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.
MnDOT administers these laws in a fair and impartial manner. Political campaign signs are treated in the same way as any other signs wrongly placed on state highway property by businesses, churches, private citizens or charitable groups.
Rights of way distances can vary greatly vary from 33 feet to more than 200 feet from the center line of the highway. People posting signs should look for right of way markers or call the local MnDOT office for specific locations.
For information regarding the proper placement of campaign signs or where to find signs that have been removed, contact our Baxter office (north central Minnesota) at 218/828 5700, or our St. Cloud office (south central Minnesota) at 320/223 6500.