It seems like it's almost always the election season.  One of the ways that it's evidenced is the population of political signs that appear almost everywhere.  One of the most-visible places for these signs is along roadways.  Major highways bring lots of traffic and with it - potential voters.  But is it legal to post political signs along the highway right of way?

No - says the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Placement of campaign signs and other unauthorized objects in state highway rights of way is not allowed under state law, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In addition, campaign signs may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits without landowner consent.

Highway rights of way include the driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections.

MnDOT crews will remove any unlawfully placed signs and impound them at one of its local maintenance truck stations.

Violation of the law (Minn. Stat. 160.27) is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties also may apply if the placement of such material contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.

In addition, the Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act (Minn. Stat. 173.15) prohibits placing advertising materials on public utility poles, trees and shrubs, and painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.

Political campaign signs are treated in the same way as any other signs wrongly placed on state highway property by businesses, churches, private citizens or charitable groups.

For more details or to report illegally-placed political signs, call the MNDOT office at 218-725-2780.