UPDATE 11 P.M.: The new industry rules are believed to be the first of their kind in the U.S. Supporters of the ordinance said the new rules should make it a lot safer for everyone on the road.
The Las Vegas Strip is filled with attention grabbing sights so mobile billboards have to be just as flashy to have any impact. Jeremie Watkins is a managing partner at Las Vegas Kre8 Media which does outdoor advertising for at least 100 clients.
“So, obviously the mobile billboards, they grab consumers attention,’ said Watkins. “Which is the idea.”
But the large electronic screens plugging Las Vegas Strip shows and other attractions have raised concerns about safety, especially on heavily traveled Las Vegas Boulevard. From trucks tipping over in high winds to concerns about their size; drivers trying to maneuver in and out of traffic and no real rules about what the ads can look like or contain, the county has had plenty of complaints and concerns.
“Congestion in the resort corridor is increasingly a challenge,” said Virginia Valentine of the Nevada Resort Association. “It frustrates employers. It frustrates visitors and people who have deliveries in and out of the resort corridor.”
In November the Clark County Commission decided to look at ways to make them safer and make it easier to track just how many mobile billboards are on the roads. Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance at their Tuesday morning meeting requiring businesses to pay a $500 registration fee; banning trailer-drawn billboards; putting in place size restrictions and requiring that the billboards not operate in winds over 35 miles per hour.
"I think it’s a positive thing,” said Watkins. “I think it’s a good step in the right direction. Mobile billboards have been historically unregulated, so it creates standards across the industry.”
It also prevents the trucks from parking in residential neighborhoods and from making U-turns but it doesn’t put any limits on their numbers or extend to out of state companies, something commissioners said they will have to study after the rules go into effect.
One thing the ordinance does not address is content. There are no new rules about some of the racier ads.
UPDATE 7:45 P.M.: Clark County commissioners unanimously approved new rules for mobile billboards.
The new guidelines include a size limit of the billboard, where they can park, require operators to register the vehicles, have a business license, and insurance along with trained drivers behind the wheel.
The rules go into effect on Jan. 1
Clark County commissioners will be considering news guidelines for mobile billboards during its meeting today.
Under the new proposal, billboard trucks would not be able to operate if the wind is 35mph or greater.
Also, they would not allowed to make u-turns or park near homes.
The largest and longest-running operator in the valley is in favor of the proposal.