What's Bugging You?

What's Bugging You? Mobile ads using handicap placard

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mobile ads continue to spring up across Southern California. As previously reported on Eyewitness News, they're typically placed in a parking space and sometimes aren't moved for days.

Some city of Los Angeles officials are trying to get rid of them. But one business owner wants them gone immediately. He is particularly fed up with a billboard attached to a van parked outside his shop.

"We have this parked in front of our business every single day," he said. "We even have people walking in the store asking for a massage."

That's fine, but Dennis Hagerty and Jeff Falgien own a piano store.

Falgien said what's hit a sour note with him is the handicap placard on the van, which allows the van to stay put all day, even when the street signs say one hour parking.

"To take it to this level, to take advantage of a handicapped plate, which is supposed to be for people who really have a handicap, that's not so good," Falgien said.

In front of the real massage business was another large mobile billboard hooked to a car that had a handicapped tag.

The owner didn't return calls seeking comment, but their attorney did. The attorney wondered if it would be a one-sided story. Asked to speak to the owner to get their side and ask about the use of the placards, there was no response.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian wants to investigate the matter to see if the plates are being misused.

"Obviously, misuse of a handicapped placard is against the law," he said.

Krekorian has been trying to remove all mobile billboards from the streets. New laws took effect recently in Sacramento to outlaw them, but it appears some businesses find ways around the laws.

"It's our job to try to continue to address the new ways they find to do things that are violations of what the public wants," Krekorian said. "What the public wants is get rid of these billboards."

Until then, the battle of the billboards continues on the streets and possibly in court.

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