• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Los Angeles City Council votes to end mobile ads

March 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to put an end to mobile billboards.

The billboards were the subject of an Eyewitness News investigation after viewers complained about them. We investigated them as part of our "What's Bugging You" series. Council members said the story helped shine a light on an existing problem that was getting out of hand.

"This is the No. 1 complaint that I get, day in and day out, from residents, from local businesses," said Councilman Mitch Englander.

These billboards are sometimes hitched to cars and mopeds, and that would allow them to stay in parking spaces. But a new state law, authored by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Van Nuys), eliminates that exemption and allows the city to regulate and remove them.

"This is something that affects people in their homes, in their communities, so it really is of grave concern to many people in the San Fernando Valley," said Blumenfield.

The City Council passed the new ordinance unanimously, but business owners who use the ads said they will fight the city in court.

"What you all think you are going to do is to make the First Amendment illegal. I'd like to enlighten City Council: You don't have that authority," Bruce Boyer of Lone Star Security said at the meeting.

The new law takes effect as soon as the mayor signs it. Officials said they're going to launch a street sweep right away to get rid of the mobile billboards.