Alaskans reminded of laws guiding campaign signs
September 10, 2017
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 right of ways including parked vehicles displaying such signs and signs on private property legible from the main-traveled way.
• Signs placed within the State’s public right of ways are prohibited. This applies to vehicles parked in right of ways 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 ADOT&PF crews without notification.
• Signs placed along the State’s public right of ways are also prohibited. As a follow up to the Federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965 and public ballot initiatives Alaska laws apply to signs on public or commercial property eitherwithin 660 feet of 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.
Quoting a news release, the State of Alaska recognizes that advertising is an important effort and expensive investment for all. Campaigns and volunteers may simply not realize the prohibitions regarding advertising in and along the State’s public right of ways.
Though the extent of the public right of ways are not always easily visible on the ground the laws prohibit all unauthorized signs legible from the traveled way. For more information, please review the Department’s webpage at http://dot.alaska.gov/campaignsigns/ and contact your local State Right-of-Way Office if you require assistance related to specific right of ways.
Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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