Under the new law, billboards will disappear from motorways and ŘSD will start monitoring illegal ba1/9/2017|Press releasesAfter a five-year transitional period, billboard owners face a statutory duty to remove their advertising banners from the protection zone of motorways and category I roads within five business days. Subsequently, ŘSD will start monitoring the places where illegal billboards are located, which now have nothing to do in the motorway and road protection zones. "From September 1, the owners of these advertising facilities have five working days to remove them under the new Roads Act. After that, the individual motorway administration and maintenance centres of ŘSD will monitor where billboards are located by motorways in the protection zone of 250 meters and alongside category I roads in the 50m protection zone. It will gradually hand over inputs to the road administration office, i.e. the Ministry of Transport and/or to the regional office that shall then issue a call," explains the transport minister Dan Ťok After having learned about the existence of a billboard located in way that does not correspond with the law, it will call the owner to remove it and the owner must then remove the billboard within five days. If the owner does not remove the billboard, the office must ensure the covering and subsequent disposal at the expense of the owner within 15 working days. "In other words, we will monitor the situation, then the first calls will be sent roughly in the middle of the month and at the turn of September and October the covering can start and illegal advertising banners will be dismantled. Only on motorways there are about a thousand of them, so it will take some months," the minister added. For category I roads the regional road administration office must act. It can execute the billboard disposal through his own road administration and maintenance points and/or agree with ŘSD on the implementation of advertisements located directly on the structure of category I roads. Major questions and answers about the billboards removal How will the removal of billboards along motorway from September 2017 take place? The advertisement providers knew five years before that they must remove the billboards as of September 1, 2017. So they had a long time to prepare themselves for the removal of their billboards and were supposed to do it themselves. However, should the requirements of the law be ignored, the competent road administration office (or the Ministry of Transport for motorways) will invite the owner of the billboard to immediately remove it (within five days according to the Roads Act). If they fail to do so, the competent road administration office will cover the advertisement within 15 days and will then dispose of it. All that at the cost of the billboard owner. If the advertisement provider cannot found, the costs will be borne by the owner of the property on which the advertisement facility was placed. The owner of the property on which the advertisement facility is located without permission is obliged to allow access to its property, so that the advertisement can be covered and disposed of. How long will the billboard removal process take? Some billboards have already been removed, because ŘSD has monitored since 2012 where billboards with the fixed-term contract were located and these contracts are no longer extended. For operators with permission for an unlimited validity period, the deadline is September 1. This applies to roughly 1000 billboards by motorways and hundreds of billboards by category I roads. The authorities have been issuing permits since the 1990s, often jointly for a large number of billboards. It must be checked for each and every billboard whether it is still in use, who is the owner, etc. Companies have often changed owners or have their registered office outside the Czech Republic. On top of that, it was regional authorities who were issuing permit for category I roads. The calls must be addressed to all operators. Billboards will then be gradually disappearing over the next few months. Which billboards should specifically disappear (rules, distances)? The obligation to remove the billboard applies to advertisement facilities by motorways and category I roads outside areas on which a continuous municipal development is located. Generally, all billboards located in the roadside protection zone will disappear. The borderline of the motorway protection zone, as defined in Section 30 par. 2 (a) of the Roads Act, is shifted from 100 metres to 250 metres for the case in which the establishment and operation of advertisement facilities that would be visible for the users of the road in question was permitted. For category I roads, the roadside protection zone is 50 m from the road axis or the adjacent category 1 road driving lane. Banners on bridges shall also disappear. Also they lie in the protection zone of the motorway. How many billboards shall disappear in total? This applies to more than a thousand of billboards not only by motorways, but there are still hundreds of billboards remaining by category I national roads. Some billboards have already been removed, because ŘSD has monitored since 2012 where billboards with the fixed-term contract were located and these contracts are no longer extended. For operators with permission for an unlimited validity period, the deadline is September 1. What are the sanctions if the billboards do not disappear? The biggest sanction is that the billboard must be removed at the expense of its provider. The law passed five years ago does not specify a particular fine for not removing the billboard. How is ŘSD ready for the removal of the billboards? ŘSD has prepared capacity in its Motorways and roads administration and maintenance centres, so staff will monitor the billboards in the protection zone and at the same time cover and gradually remove them. Will ŘSD remove all billboards? ŘSD, together with the road administration office, which is in the case of motorways the Ministry of Transport, addresses only billboards by motorways. The competent regional authorities and/or road administration offices, being to domain of the regions, are responsible for category I roads. The regions are obliged to remove the billboards – in other words, on category I roads it will be the regions who will handle advertisement banners in the protection zone of 50 meters and can use their Road administration and maintenance. The billboard removal process "From September 1, the owners of these advertising facilities have five working days to remove them under the new Roads Act. This period ends September 8, 2017. After this date, the individual motorway administration and maintenance centres of ŘSD will monitor where billboards are located by motorways in the protection zone of 250 meters and alongside category I roads in the 50m protection zone. It will gradually submit the documents to the road administration office, i.e. the Ministry of Transport and/or the regional department for the purpose of issuing the call. The department must subsequently request within seven days that the owner removes the illegal advertisement banner. The owner must then have the billboard removed within five days. Failure to do so means that the road administration office will cover the advertisement within 15 working days and subsequently ensure the removal and disposal of the advertising facility at the expense of the owner. This means that first calls will be sent roughly in the middle of the month and at the turn of September and October the covering can start and illegal advertising banners will be dismantled. Only on motorways there are about a thousand of them, so it will take some months.