Georgia DOT: Don’t put signs in rights of way

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ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is cautioning the public not to place signs on rights of way.

Georgia law stipulates that GDOT is required to maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public, which includes the immediate removal of any obstruction or hazard that may pose a threat to the traveling public.

Therefore, any sign along Georgia’s state routes and interstates must meet safety standards and be permitted by GDOT to be within rights of way.

For example, signs that advertise yard sales, real estate for sale or political candidates on department land adjacent to roads are not allowed and will be removed by GDOT personnel.

“In the midst of this political season, Georgia DOT would like to clarify the laws that deal with signs along state routes and interstates,” said Bayne Smith, GDOT district maintenance engineer.

“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, do not place signage within the state-owned rights of way.

MH 04-23-14