DOT&PF reminds Alaskans of laws guiding campaign signs

  • Campaign signs for Kenai Peninsula Borough mayoral candidates were placed on a lot along the Homer Bypass at the corner of Lake Street in the October 2017 election. (Homer News file photo)

With political campaigns underway across the state, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) reminds Alaskans that the use of public rights-of-way for political advertising is prohibited.

According to a press release, in 1998, Alaskans overwhelmingly voted to keep the state free from outdoor advertising.

Alaska statutes and regulations address unauthorized signs both within and along the state’s public rights-of-way, including parked vehicles displaying such signs and signs on private property.

Though the boundaries of the public rights-of-way are not always easily determined on the ground, the laws prohibit all unauthorized signs legible from the traveled way.

Signs placed within the state’s public rights-of-way are prohibited. This applies to vehicles parked in rights-of-way that are used to display political advertisements. Such signs create safety hazards by obstructing views, distracting drivers, and creating obstacles in collisions. These signs may be removed by DOT&PF crews without notification.

Signs placed along the state’s public rights-of-way are also prohibited.

Alaska laws apply to signs on public or commercial property either within 660 feet of the state’s public right-of-way or beyond 660 feet and legible from the main traveled way.

These signs may be removed by the state at the expense of the property owner.

In accordance with the law, the owner of the property or the person placing or maintaining the unauthorized sign is subject to removal expenses of at least $50 per sign, fines of at least $50 and as much as $5,000 if convicted of a misdemeanor, and associated costs.

“The State of Alaska recognizes that advertising is an important effort and expensive investment. Campaigns and volunteers should be aware of the prohibitions regarding advertising in and along the state’s public rights-of-way,” the press release said.

For more information, visit http://dot.alaska.gov/campaignsigns/ and contact regional state right-of-way offices for assistance related to specific rights-of-way.

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