2012-09-20 / Community
State law tightens rules on mobile billboards
Assembly Bill 2291 was needed because mobile billboard operators are trying to skirt the law, said Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-Van Nuys), author of the legislation.
“We’ve been playing a cat-andmouse game with mobile billboard operators, and folks everywhere are tired of it,” Blumenfield said in a statement. He added that people want “these dangerous and ugly signs” off the streets and he’s committed to helping eliminate “every last one of them.”
According to the Assemblymember, the new bill ensures that small-business owners—such as real estate agents, carpenters and florists—can continue to market themselves using signs attached to vehicles without fear of penalty.
Under current law, cities and counties may not regulate advertising that is affixed to a vehicle. If approved by the governor, the new law will clarify what type of signs people and businesses can use, such as paintings and decals.
Not allowed would be signs that are bolted on and extend beyond the length or height of the car.
Agoura Hills resident Bruce Boyer, who uses trailers to advertise his Reseda-based burglary alarm company as well as other products and political causes, called the new bill unconstitutional.
“It is another violation of our free speech,” Boyer said.
Last year, Boyer filed a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to overturn mobile sign ordinances in Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Rancho Cucamonga and Loma Linda.
“Even though the lawsuit only names four cities, Agoura, Calabasas and Westlake Village will also be affected by the suit,” Boyer said.
Recently the three local cities passed regulations to impound mobile billboards that are illegally parked on public streets and property for more than 24 hours.
Boyer said the local municipalities have confiscated some of his advertising trailers, which were parked on local public streets and property.
AB 2291 passed the Assembly on Aug. 27 with a 76-4 vote following the state Senate’s 38-0 vote on Aug. 22. It is the third bill Blumenfi eld has written to help communities regulate mobile billboards.
Last year, he authored AB 1298 to enable cities and counties to regulate billboards that were mounted on cars, mopeds and other vehicles.
The new bill clarifies what type of mobile advertisement can be regulated and will help to strike a balance between public safety and the needs of small businesses to promote their services and goods, said Blumenfield.