After a years-long struggle to ban unhitched mobile advertising trailers from Los Angeles streets, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance in March of 2011.
But for at least the past three weekends, a new housing development has placed one of those banned trailers at the northern end of De Soto Avenue, just before the 118-Freeway entrance ramp in Chatsworth. At the end of each weekend, the trailer is removed before enforcement can take place.
The 14-0 City Council vote approved an ordinance that gives traffic officers the authority to issue warning citations and ultimately impound billboards.
The law requires the city to issue a warning at least 24 hours before impounding a vehicle. A mobile billboard is defined as "an advertising display that is attached to a mobile, non-motorized vehicle, device, or bicycle that carries, pulls, or transports a sign or billboard, and is for the primary purpose of advertising."
A second citation and impoundment would be handled as a misdemeanor, with a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum six month jail sentence.
Councilman Mitch Englander, who introduced the motion calling for the ordinance, said the billboards "pose significant traffic safety hazards for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and handicap people."
Assemblyman , D-San Fernando Valley, authored state legislation that gave cities the authority to regulate mobile billboards, which he likened to spam advertising on the Internet.
To report a mobile or unhitched ad trailer, call the DOT Parking Enforcement Communications Division at 818-752-5100 or 213-485-4181. Immediately Press "2" to report a parking violation. Be ready to provide the trailer license plate number and the street block location.
-- City News Service contributed to this report.