The Utah Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over most laws governing campaign yard signs in the state. Candidates, campaign staff, and supporters may not post yard signs in the state’s right of way according to U.C.A. 72-7-102.
The Department often finds signs illegally placed in th right of way on:
* Election sign wires
* Utility poles
* Sign posts
Most utility poles and traffic signs are within Utah’s right of way, so they are a good visual aid to understand where the right of way lies.
UDOT has the authority (U.C.A 72-7-104) to remove or require the removal of campaign yard signs that are within the Department’s right of way. If the Department of Transportation issues a written notice to your campaign, you have ten days to remove the offending signs or risk having the Department remove the signs and charge you for the costs incurred to remove the signs and $100 for each day the signs remained posted following the day the Department served the written notice.
Since the Department does not remove candidate signs for ten days, the campaign will face a fine of $1,000 per sign and the cost associated with removal of them. Fewer than ten illegally posted signs would result in a five figure cost to the campaign!
Imagine the worst case scenario where the campaign put out hundreds of signs along the state’s right of way and eleven days out from Election Day the candidate receives a notice from the Department of Transportation that the signs must be removed within ten days or face fines and removal.
When the campaign needs to focus on getting out voters, the candidate, volunteers, and supporters will instead be centering their attention on removing signs or risk devastating fines.