What Happened to the Campaign Signs?
Virginia law makes campaign signs on highway medians illegal.
Fairfax County residents might have noticed a distinct lack of campaign signs on highway medians this election season, and county officials say constituents couldn’t be happier.
Posting signs on public rights-of-way such as highways had become a pesky common practice that annoyed both residents and county officials. But legislation drawn up by Del. Dave Albo (R-42) took care of the problem, making all political signs illegal if they’re on public property.
Albo’s bill also amended part of Virginia state code that created a loophole specific to Fairfax County, making it unlawful to remove signs from public rights-of-way until three days after an election.
But under new law, the county can now form an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation to remove the signs.
The Board of Supervisors has yet to vote on such an agreement, but Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) has been vocal about establishing a funding structure for a program to remove illegal signs and fine violators. Herrity told Patch that the agreement should come before the Board sometime this December.
“Signs placed in the median are really a blight on our community,” he said. “They can be dangerous and they’re illegal.”
And residents are pleased that the medians have stayed sign-free during the 2012 election season.
“Just about everyone I’ve talked to has been ecstatic that they didn’t have to look at the signs in the median this elections season,” Herrity said.
He also stressed that the law didn’t just pertain to political signs, but to all signs.
VDOT has already handed out hundreds of dollars in fines to different vendors who have failed to comply with the law, Herrity said, thanking the Commonwealth for helping to keep medians clear.
Campaign signs, political advertisements and other signs are still legal if they’re kept on private property, such as homes and lawns. Some restrictions do apply, in accordance with the county’s sign ordinance. Click here for more information.
Residents who see signs of any kind on public medians should call the Virginia Department of Transportation at 703-383-8368.