Steep penalties take the profit motive out of erectingsigns without permits
NASHVILLE – Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tim Barnes has the financial teeth to stop those who erect billboards along the interstate illegally, without a permit.
“This legislation allows for the Tennessee Department of Transportation to effectively enforce rules that are currently in place,” Senator Barnes said. “By taking the profit motive out of the practice, this law will stop those who put up interstate billboards without the proper permit.”
The Tennessee Department of Transportation will cease doing business with anyone who puts up a new billboard illegally after April 1, 2009, without going through the TDOT process.
A violator will not be given any new permits nor have existing permits renewed, based on a graduated penalty (one renewal lost for the first violation, two lost for the second violation, and four lost on the third and any subsequent violations). Penalties include removal of the illegal billboard and payment of triple damages to TDOT if the state has to remove the sign.
“This gives TDOT powerful tools to stop this practice,” Senator Barnes said. “Not only does the offender lose business, the state is able to recover the cost if it has to take down an illegal billboard.”
This bill was passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House, then sent to the Governor to be signed into law.