2020 is a big year in politics with an upcoming Presidential Election, as well as other races on the federal, state, and local level. With that in mind, the Texas Department of Transportation has issued a reminder for those who post political signs to make sure that they obey the law.
According to TxDOT Spokeswoman Rhonda Oaks in the Lufkin office, political candidates are allowed by law to place campaign signs in the public up to 90 days prior to an election. However, Oaks says that the Lufkin District Office has been removing some campaign signs that had been placed on state property.
Oaks said “We want to remind everyone that TxDOT has guidelines regarding placing signs on the right-of-way. There are usually many signs posted near election time and if a political sign is placed on the right of way, we are required to remove it without notice”.
Oaks released a list of answers to their most frequently asked questions regarding political signs:
• Where can I place political signs?
You can place your signs anywhere so long as they are not in the highway right of way or in a location that poses a safety hazard (e.g. blocking sight to a driveway). Always make sure to check with local authorities (Cities, Counties, Homeowner’s Associations, etc.) as they may have their own restrictions.
• When can I place political signs?
Cities and counties may have their own time restrictions for political signs, however TxDOT does not enforce any timing restrictions.
• There is a sign on private property posing a safety hazard
If you believe a sign or signs create a safety hazard, contact local law enforcement as they can have the owner remove or relocate their sign(s).
• There are signs located on the Right of Way (ROW)
Signs cannot be placed on the ROW as per Texas Transportation Code (TTC) §393.002. “A sheriff, constable, or other trained volunteer authorized by the commissioner’s court of a county may confiscate a sign placed in violation of Section 393.002.” (TTC §393.003). For state-maintained highways, your local TxDOT district office also has the authority to remove signs located on state owned right of way.
Texas has the following Election dates coming up:
Tuesday, March 3rd ~ Primary Election
Saturday, May 2nd ~ Local Elections
Tuesday, May 26th ~ Primary Election Runoff
Tuesday, November 3rd ~ General Election