ARDOT reminds political candidates to keep signs off of state highways

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:06 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) wants to remind candidates running for political office and their supporters that it is unlawful to place campaign signs on any highway right-of-way in Arkansas.

ARDOT District 9 maintenance engineer Jeff Wheeler says it deals with the issue year around, whether real estate or advertising signs, but sees an increase during the political season.

“We don’t want them where they cause a sight issue or a distraction to drivers as they’re going up and down the road,” said Wheeler. “We talk to our crews regularly about going up and down the roads and if they see a sign that needs to be removed, taking it off the right-of-way.”

According to Arkansas state law, any sign must be off the right-of-way because that area is designated for driver sight and roadway instruction signs.

Karen Hope is a Newton County resident who says she notices the political signs along scenic Arkansas Highway 7 South.

“When those political signs are out, it can take away from the pleasure of seeing the beauty of Newton County, and we have people that come from all over the United States, especially in the fall,” she said.

Highway 7 South is a windy stretch of road that takes you through mountainous terrain along the Ozark Mountains. Hope says for that reason. The signs can only create an added obstacle.

“Well, you have a lot of 18-wheelers and logging trucks. When you combine that with the hills and the curves, you need to be able to see what’s coming when you pull out into that highway,” she said.

Several counties have code enforcers that look for violations such as campaign signs. ARDOT asks for public help to keep an eye out and notify your local office if you have concerns with a certain sign.

ARDOT personnel will remove any campaign signs placed on the right of way and contact owners of large “billboard” signs. Owners can pick up the signs during normal business hours at the nearest ARDOT Area Maintenance Office.

(ARDOT District 9 Headquarters (Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy): (870) 743-2100)

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