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The Drive

News from around the state

Election signs prohibited along state, county and city highways

Photo: Minnesota Department of Transportation

The race for the White House (and other offices, too) is in the final days. As the election draws near, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is reminding that placing political campaign signs along state highway rights of way is prohibited.

Minnesota statue 160.2715 says it is against the law to paint, print, place, or affix any object within the limits of any state highway. That includes driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections. Improperly placed signs will be removed.

The state law applies to all state, county, city and township roads and highways.

State transportation employees are responsible for administering these laws on state highways and must remove signs that violate the laws, MnDOT says.

If you are thinking of slapping a sign or poster on a telephone pole, don't. The Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act prohibits advertising devices on utility poles, on trees or shrubs and on private land without the consent of the owner or occupant.

Motorist caught using Trump cutout to skirt HOV rules in Washington

Photo: Washington State Patrol

Motorists have used all kinds to tricks to skirt the rules that require those using HOV lanes to have two or more passengers in the vehicle, mannequins, blow up dolls and the like.

But what one driver in Washington state did takes the cake. The driver affixed a "yuge" cardboard cutout of Republican presidential nominee to the passenger seat headrest in hopes of qualifying as a high occupancy vehicle.

A Washington State Trooper Greg Ulrichon a motorcycle wasn't fooled. He stopped the driver on Hwy. 167 in Auburn, Wash. and issued a $136 ticket.

"He was a very nice driver and they were laughing about it," said Rick Johnson, a public information officer for the Washington State Patrol in King County.

Johnson says every now and then they get somebody trying to be funny and says they've seen everything from teddy bears to mannequins all sitting beside drivers trying to cheat and use the carpool lane.