(a) General - For the purposes of this Section the following directional signs are prohibited:

(1)           signs which are erected or maintained upon trees or painted or drawn upon rocks or other natural features;

(2)           signs which move or have any animated or moving parts;

(3)           signs located in rest areas, parklands or scenic areas.

(b) Size:

(1)           No directional sign shall exceed the following limits:

                Maximum area    150 square feet;

                Maximum height 20 feet; and

                Maximum length 20 feet.

(2)           All dimensions include border and trim, but exclude supports.

(c) Lighting - Directional signs may be illuminated, subject to the following:

(1)           Signs which contain, include, or are illuminated by any flashing, intermittent, or moving light or lights are prohibited;

(2)           Signs which are not effectively shielded so as to prevent beams or rays of light from being directed at any portion of the traveled way of an interstate or primary highway or NHS route or which are of such intensity or brilliance as to cause glare or to impair the vision of the driver of any motor vehicle, or which otherwise interfere with the operation of a motor vehicle are prohibited; and

(3)           No sign may be so illuminated as to interfere with the effectiveness of or obscure an official traffic sign, device, or signal.

(d) Spacing:

(1)           Each location of a directional sign must be approved by the division of highways;

(2)           No directional sign may be located within 2,000 feet of an interchange, or intersection at grade along the interstate system or other controlled access highways (measured along the highway from the nearest point of the beginning or ending of pavement widening at the exit from or entrance to the main-traveled way);

(3)           No directional sign may be located within 2,000 feet of a rest area, parkland, or scenic area;

(4)           No two directional signs facing the same direction of travel shall be spaced less than one mile apart;

(5)           Not more than three directional signs pertaining to the same activity and facing the same direction of travel may be erected along a single route approaching the activity;

(6)           Directional signs located adjacent to the interstate system shall be within 75 air miles of the activity; and

(7)           Directional signs located adjacent to the primary system shall be within 50 air miles of the activity.

(e)  Message Content. - The message on directional signs shall be limited to the identification of the attraction or activity and directional information useful to the traveler in locating the attraction, such as mileage, route number, or exit numbers.

(f)  Selection Criteria:

(1)           Privately owned activities or attractions eligible for directional signing are limited to the following: natural phenomena, scenic attractions; historic, educational, cultural, scientific, and religious sites; and outdoor recreational areas.

(2)           Privately owned attractions or activities must be nationally or regionally known.  For purposes of this rule the following meanings shall apply:

(A)          Nationally known means the attraction has drawn attention through various forms of media within the continental United States; and

(B)          Regionally known means the attraction is known in a specific region of the state such as the mountains, piedmont, or coastal region, through published articles or paid advertisements available to a regional audience.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 136‑130; 136‑129;

Eff. July 1, 1978;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2000; November 1, 1993.