Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Minnesota State Patrol
Dear Trooper Kathy: We were having a garage sale and the highway department came and took all our signs away. Can they do that?
Trooper Kathy says: Yes. In fact Mn/DOT has asked me to remind you about keeping event signs, items for sale, real estate signs, campaign signs and any other markers away from highway rights of way. Here is a recent request from MN Department of Transportation.
With summer here, we are already seeing an increase in advertising signs and items for sale placed illegally along state highways to attract the attention of passing motorists.
¥ Placing unauthorized signs and other objects on state highway right of way is illegal. It can distract drivers and obstruct their vision.
¥ "Signs created to attract a driver's eye can easily distract motorists from paying full attention to driving."
¥ Placing signs or objects in highway right of way is a misdemeanor violation punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.
¥ Highway rights of way include driving lanes, shoulders, ditches, clear zones and sight corners at intersections.
¥ State law also says that signs and other items may not be placed on private property outside of the right of way limits but in proximity to a roadway without consent of the landowner.
Mn/DOT crews will remove all signs within the right of way without notice.
Large items commonly found in rights of way include cars and other vehicles, boats and motors, campers and travel trailers, commercial stands and large bales of hay. These objects: Present safety concerns, inhibit proper drainage, catch debris, restrict mowing, spraying and other road maintenance activities.
For information about roadway regulations, right of way boundaries or where to find signs and items that have been removed, contact your local Minnesota Department of Transportation Office.
If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please e-mail her at
. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement.