Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield has introduced a motion to ban digital billboards from the tops of personal vehicles.
Blumenfield, whose district is in the West San Fernando Valley, called digital billboards on cars the next generation of blight on the streets.
“They enable companies to use, for free, our public rights of way to profit at the expense of our quality of life,” Blumenfield said in a statement. “Furthermore, they can be a dangerous distraction for drivers.”
The motion was referred to the Council’s Transportation Committee. It seeks the Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Police Department to take enforcement action against persons who operate vehicles with attached signs within Los Angeles.
Dynamic message signs use LED technology to display changeable illuminated advertising. The signs are used on mostly Uber and Lyft rideshare cars from which the drivers of the vehicles get up to $300 a month to display them, according to a release from Blumenfield’s office.
Firefly, in San Francisco, is a company identified by Blumenfield’s office as installing the signs on personal vehicles. The City Attorney’s office notified Firefly in November that it was breaking city and state laws by installing and operating the signs.
"Firefly is proud to help hard-working taxi and rideshare drivers earn extra income - without working additional hours," Firefly said in a statement to the Business Journal "We proactively engaged with the city to ensure our smart cities technology can be deployed appropriately and safely, and Firefly displays are compliant with all applicable regulations in Los Angeles."
The statement continued: "We are concerned about Councilmember Blumenfield's proposal as it would directly remove reliable income from hundreds of Angelenos and hurt taxi drivers as they try to survive in an increasingly competitive industry. We look forward to continuing our discussions with city leaders.”