Thursday is the last day that political signs can be displayed on state road rights of way, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Political signs are prohibited on state road rights of way, and state law says any political signs posted on private property within 660 feet of state roads must be removed within 30 days of the General Election.
On top of state regulations, local cities and counties may have additional guidelines requiring earlier removal of political signs along local roads.
Rudy Malfabon, NDOT director, said the signs are a safety concern, as they can distract drivers and block the view of drivers, among other visual issues.
“After an election, we need to avoid the potential of old political signs interfering in any way with road safety,” Malfabon said.
State road rights of way usually extend beyond the roadside, fence line or sidewalk of interstates, freeways, highways and urban state roads or streets.
To obtain more information on state road rights of way, call NDOT at 775-888-7000 or visit the “public involvement/sign rules and regulations” section NDOT’s website online at www.nevadadot.com.
For future political seasons, NDOT reminds potential candidates and parties that political signs are not allowed on state road rights of way.
If campaign signs are left on state road rights of ways, NDOT employees will remove signs and store them at the nearest NDOT maintenance station for retrieval by the sign owner within 30 days. Political signs less than 4-feet-by-8-feet can be posted on private property next to state roads no more than 60 days before an election.
Signs over that size require an NDOT permit. Local cities and counties could also have additional guidelines regulating the placement of political signs along local roads.
There is no penalty for sign removal, but as signs can be very costly, most candidates like to retain their signs for future use.
“Unclaimed signs will eventually be destroyed,” said Tony Illia, NDOT spokesperson. “We see between 3,000 to 5,000 signs left out along state rights of way following an election. It typically takes 14 maintenance workers one full work shift to remove all of the signs or roughly 112 total man-hours.”
Illia said the most popular areas for the signs are vacant lots, major arterial intersections and freeway ramps, as they are sites that have heavy traffic and high visibility.
Contact reporter Mick Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.