$6,000 in Fines Levied for Signs Illegally Posted on Roads

collecting illegal signs

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Businesses, political campaigns, people and others that illegally post signs on the roads may receive a bill from us.

Starting in May, we began to invoice these sign owners—and we sent bills totaling $6,000 to five owners so far.

Under a legal agreement with the state, Fairfax County removes signs from public rights of way on about 71 selected, major roads. The law allows the county to collect a $100 civil penalty against sign owners, and this penalty is assessed for each sign posted.

These five sign owners have received invoices for these amounts:

  • We Pay up to $100-200 Junk Car: $3,500
  • Bruce and Tanya REMAX: $1,600
  • Debbie Dogrul, Long & Foster: $600
  • Mount Vernon Athletic Club: $200
  • Target Marble: $100

In this fiscal year (which ends June 30), we’ve picked up 27,621 signs so far under the removal program that began in 2013.

sign removal program stats

Crews remove these signs from public rights-of-way along 71 streets—or about 200 miles of roadway. Most are two-lane, divided highways like Route 286 (formerly Fairfax County Parkway), Route 50 and Route 28. Signs are not removed from neighborhood streets, nor are they cleaned up based on public complaints.

 

Where Signs Are Collected

The Sheriff’s Community Labor Force collects signs every week from Tuesday to Thursday. Their crews will visit each road included in the program one time each month. Signs are stored at the I-66 Transfer Station for five days, allowing owners time to reclaim them. After this time, the signs are destroyed.

With a few exceptions, state law prohibits posting signs on public rights of way, including advertising, campaign and other signs.

If a sign on any public road presents a safety hazard, drivers should contact VDOT at 1-800-FOR-ROAD or via its online form.

Our new program was created to assist the Virginia Department of Transportation. We signed a legal agreement with VDOT to get the authority to remove signs. Under this agreement, we are only authorized to pick up illegal signs. VDOT remains responsible for road maintenance.

You also can play a role in keeping the streets clean by volunteering with a VDOT-sponsored Adopt-a-Highway group. These groups may pick up trash and signs along roads, and they can operate seven days a week.

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