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(1) Signs promoting political candidates or issues shall be placed on private property only and cannot be placed without the permission of the property owner.

(2) Political signs shall not:

(a) be placed on or allow any portion to intrude in the public right-of-way or on public property;

(b) be attached on public right-of-way fences;

(c) obstruct the view of motor vehicle operators or create a traffic hazard;

(d) be placed within 500 feet of an intersection, intersecting roadway, junction, property driveway, or connecting roadways with approaching or merging traffic at grade along a primary highway, or within 500 feet of an interchange or rest area on the interstate highway system as measured from the beginning of the pavement widening for the interchange;

(e) attempt or appear to attempt to direct the movement of traffic or which interfere with, imitate, or resemble any official traffic sign, signal, or device;

(f) prevent the driver of a vehicle from having a clear and unobstructed view of at-grade intersections, approaches, official traffic control signs, other traffic control devices, or merging traffic;

(g) be placed within 100 feet of any entrance to the building in which a polling place is located;

(h) use lighting in any way unless it is so effectively shielded as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled way of the highway, or is of such low intensity or brilliance as to not cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or to otherwise interfere with any driver's operation of a motor vehicle.

(3) Political signs must be removed within 14 days following the applicable election. The department shall notify the landowner of illegal signs which are not removed within 14 days. The signs shall be removed by the department 24 hours after notification to the landowner. The department shall retain removed political signs for five working days after notification of removal before their destruction. The sign owner may retrieve the signs during this period.

(4) Signs that pose a traffic hazard may be removed by the department without prior notification to the sign owner.

(5) It is the responsibility of the candidate or political committee to ensure all signs are in compliance with this rule.

(6) Political signs do not require permits and are not subject to permit fees.

History: 75-15-121, MCA; IMP, 75-15-111, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 1855, Eff. 7/4/96; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 2476, Eff. 11/27/08; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 185, Eff. 1/27/12.

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