Mobile Billboards Movin' Out
You’ve most likely seen them, or almost driven into one – trailers with a sign on the back advertising a business or service. Responding to numerous complaints the Santa Clarita City Council is expected to pass an ordinance at their meeting tonight to eliminate this type of mobile advertising in the city.
According to the city, the current municipal code that addresses signs in the right of way is inadequate due to the nature of mobile billboard advertising displays being on trailers. As such, the trailers fall under the California Vehicle Code for enforcement.
Detached trailers are in violation of section 12.64.100 of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code and subject to a $50 fine. In order to be towed from the public streets, California Vehicle Code Sections 22507(a) and 22651(n) requires signs or markings to be placed adjacent to where the trailers are located on the street.
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On September 30, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 2756, which allows municipalities to regulate the mobile billboard advertising displays. The changes made to the California Vehicle Code are required to be adopted by the City in order to take effect.
This adoption of the ordinance will do the following:
- It removes the requirement of posting warning signs throughout the community in order to tow the mobile billboard advertising displays
- It reduces the need for multiple citations or a seventy two hour (72) hour period to remove the display to twenty four (24) hours and a single warning citation
- It makes the violation a misdemeanor which allows for fines and possible jail time for offenders
City officials say the signs are a safety hazard because they often get pushed into traffic lanes, are a source of visual blight and become a target for graffiti. Owners of the mobile billboard advertising displays had been moving their trailers every 72 hours to avoid being towed under the Santa Clarita Municipal Code Section 12.64.200. The frequent location changes only served to compound the problem and resulted in multiple complaints from the public.
The new ordinance will impose a $50 fine and require the trailers to be removed within 24 hours or be towed.
A similar ordinance went into effect January 1 in Los Angeles which led to dozens of impounded and cited trailers. According to City officials the L.A. ordinance created a “vacuum” in Santa Clarita for mobile advertising to fill.
The new ordinance will take effect 30 days after passage by the City Council.
The Santa Clarita City Council meets at tonight at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 23920 Valencia Boulevard.