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What's bugging you? Mobile billboards

ABC7 Eyewitness News: What's Bugging You?
January 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Mobile billboards: they're popping up everywhere. Viewers told Eyewitness News it bugs them when these ads park in front of their homes or apartments. They're popping up all over the place, advertising anything from attorneys to alarm companies to tarot card readers. These mobile ads are very visible -- and to some, very annoying.

"We've received hundreds of complaints. The number one complaint I get in my district is mobile billboards," said L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine.

Eyewitness News received a number of e-mails complaining about them as well. Viewers say it's just more clutter on the roads, and it bugs them when these advertisements are parked in front of homes and apartments and stay there for days.

"People are fed up with them," said Zine. "They are vandalized, they turn over in the wind. They are a real nuisance in the community."

There is even a dispute about what to call them: "mobile billboards" or "trailer signs."

Some don't want to call them trailers because they fall into a different category according to the vehicle code.

"The issue is: Am I obeying the law? And I am obeying the law," said mobile billboard proprietor Bruce Boyer.

Boyer is the owner of Lone Star Security. He has dozens of billboards all over the San Fernando Valley. He's one of several companies that use the mobile ads. He says he gets several parking violations every day.

"The city says you can park here," said Boyer. "My vehicle is no more clutter than your news van is."

The main complaint the city gets is that these billboards are left on a street for days. The state vehicle code and local regulations allow any vehicle to stay parked on a road for 72 hours. But after that, if they're not moved they can be cited or even towed.

"What the individuals do is they move them. They move them a few feet," said Zine. "They don't have to move them any great distance. They'll move them a couple of inches. And they're basically irritating the neighborhoods.

The city of Los Angeles changed its laws and banned unhitched trailers. Boyer, who's suing the city, protested by putting billboards right next to some of those signs.

"I have a license plate. The state of California says I can operate on any street or highway in the state. I have every right that everybody else does," said Boyer.

City officials say they've heard your complaints and will use them in their fight to eliminate the signs. For now the battle of the billboards continues on our streets and in court.


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