OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Despite legislation passed 40 years ago to beautify the nation's highways, at least 226 illegal billboards are located along Oklahoma roads.
Reports by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation show some of the signs were abandoned by owners long ago. Other signs are put up by churches, schools and tourist attractions unaware of the laws that require permits.
ODOT attorney Mitch Surrett says the agency hires contractors to inspect signs and manages to find at least 100 violations each year.
Records obtained by The Oklahoman through the state Open Records Act show at least two dozen signs belong to regional and national outdoor advertising companies.
State and federal laws restrict construction of billboards in scenic areas and require a minimum 1000 feet between signs.