Drivers traveling on North Carolina roadways are likely seeing what has become an election year tradition — a lot of campaign signs.
A state law passed in 2011 allows campaign signs to be placed in the state road right of way as early as 30 days before the start of early voting, which starts on Oct. 15. That means signs legally started going into place this week.
There are restrictions regarding the signs. They include:
- Whoever places a sign is required to get the permission of any property owner of a residence, business or religious institution fronting the right of way where a sign would be placed;
- No sign is permitted in the right of way of a limited-access highway such as an interstate;
- No sign can be closer than 3 feet from the edge of the pavement of the road;
- No sign can obscure motorist visibility at an intersection;
- No sign can be higher than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement;
- No sign can be larger than 864 square inches; and
- No sign can obscure or replace another sign.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has the authority to remove any signs that violate these rules. If anyone else removes or vandalizes a sign, they could be subject to a Class 3 misdemeanor citation from law enforcement.
Campaign signs can remain in place for 10 days after the Nov. 3 election. Signs still in the right of way after the deadline are in violation of state law, and the NCDOT is authorized to remove and dispose of them.