Advertising sign twirlers OK if they stay out of the streetNovember 9th, 2012 by travis baker
The in basket: Beatrice Goods wrote back in May to say, “In Silverdale on nearly every Sunday for the last several weeks, Ashley Furniture has had sign twirlers posted at the three major intersections on the right when we were driving north through town.
“This activity is unsettling because of the twirlers proximity to the road while twirling, juggling, tossing, catching the signs and sort of dancing around,” Beatrice said. “I find this distracting and irritating because they are too close to the road.
“Is it legal for them to be that close? Far be it from me
to deprive someone of a job but I am not all that confident in the
manipulators ability to keep control of that sign when the traffic
is moving. The one last Sunday wasn’t as good as others I have
seen. Has anyone else questioned this unnerving
The out basket: I often wonder at the proliferation of these animated human advertisements and what proportion of the nation’s supposed growth in jobs can be attributed to them.
Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office was deliberate in his research on this, and now has replied.
” Over the years law enforcement has received a few complaints about these activities,” he said.
“We’ve seen many around the county, not just in Silverdale’s urban retail area: persons advertising income tax preparation, furniture sales, motor vehicle oil changes and youth organization car washes to name a few. We’ve seen people dressed as gorillas and bears. There have been children with lemonade stands alongside roadways and folks advertising garage / yard sales. In a few weeks as the holiday season approaches, we may see persons attired as Santa Claus, elves and reindeer drawing attention to their particular establishment’s holiday offerings.
“And there also have been roadside protestors who have staged themselves, with signs and banners, to voice their opinion against a variety of issues, be they local, state or national topics.
“While from a safety aspect the sheriff’s office is aware of the possibility of driver distraction, especially those where the ‘advertising person’ is twirling a signboard that resembles a very large skateboard or snowboard, the persons engaged in such activity are not committing any offense under state law or county code.
“They are allowed to exercise their right to free speech, provided the person does not enter into the roadway or otherwise obstruct traffic. Standing on sidewalks, roadway shoulders or on private property (with owner’s permission) is well within their rights.
“However, should the person engaged in twirling lose control of said twirled object, and it strikes a vehicle or otherwise is the cause of a traffic collision or some other type of damage, then that person certainly will find themselves the subject of scrutiny by a sheriff’s deputy investigating the incident.”
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