Well, it vexes Texas…kind of.

This year, we saw some legislative wrangling over the “Hell Is Real” religious billboards on I-65.

Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh reported last month:

Along I-65 in LaRue and Hart counties are two billboards bearing religious messages like “Hell is Real,” and the Ten Commandments. The signs were paid for by Jimmy Harston of Scottsville, who says he has erected similar signs in several states. The billboards are on private property and both are illegal, says Chuck Wolfe of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“(It) had nothing to do with the message,” said Wolfe. “It was just the cabinet’s position that they are illegal because of their placement and the potential for distraction. That’s a highway safety issue.”

In February, LaRue Circuit Judge Geoffrey Morris came to the same conclusion. Ordering removal of the five-year-old signs, Judge Morris says it’s not the message – it’s the non-compliance with state and federal billboard laws. But the decision, which will be appealed, doesn’t sit well with Rep. Johnny Bell of Glasgow (pictured) Legislation sponsored by Bell exempts signs with religious messages from state billboard permitting standards.

What does this have to do with Texas? The state isn’t dealing with religious signs, but some Texans say the Texas Department of Transportation has been a little too lax with its regulatory power over rural billboards:

County officials said the TxDOT rules are not restrictive enough in controlling the proliferation of billboards in rural areas and will continue its push to ban rural billboards.

State Representative Doug Miller (R-District 73) last year unsuccessfully attempted to pass stronger billboard regulation through the Texas House of Representatives.

Miller said the bill introduced last year had some issues that needed to be worked out, but due to time restraints they were not revised.

“I know it is a concern of the commissioners court and I will work with them.” said Miller. “But I have not gotten a formal request from commissioners court to re-introduce the proposed legislation.”

Comal County Commissioner Pct. 2 Jay Millikin said he would not favor a complete ban on billboards.

“Interstate 35 is already cluttered with billboards, but I would like to see more restrictions on state and county roads.

Do you think Kentucky’s roads are too crowded with billboards, secular or otherwise?

(via)

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