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Travis Baker blogs about the problems and idiosyncrasies of Kitsap highways and byways.
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Advertising sign twirlers OK if they stay out of the street

November 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 practice?”
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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5 Responses to “Advertising sign twirlers OK if they stay out of the street”

  1. Mo Fourthright Says:

    In California young shapely females clad in small two piece swimsuits are employed to hold and shake signage(and other things). I would like to see that business model duplicated here in Silverdale.

  2. bob Says:

    the thing that worries me the most is when the firefighters walk between cars doing their “fill the boot” drive. several times i have seen traffic start up and drive past them as they are standing in the middle of lanes 2-3 cars in from the crosswalk.. they have to duck and dodge all the mirrors that stick out.. then wait till the light stops to continue walking through the cars. fortunately it is on slower roads like kitsap way/adele, silverdale way/ridgetop, wheaton way/sheridan, sylvan, but still standing in the 35 mph road. many times with no signs warning drivers they are doing this.

  3. Nobody Says:

    I am going to dress in a monkey suit and twirl a sign that warns drivers they are entering a zone that uses automated infraction cameras, These red light cameras are owned, operated and maintained by a foreign, for profit company that spies on Bremerton 24/7/365.

  4. Mark Says:

    Maybe the alternative for the sign-twirlers is unemployment – and they would rather work at something, than be on UE or Welfare? That says something for their work ethic – not everyone would accept a job like that. Maybe the panhandlers should twirl their signs and do some dancing, if they really want to get some cash.

  5. Roger Says:

    There is nothing Illegal with a sign holder being paid to point the way to a Sale.
    As far as Red Light Cameras they are ran by an Arizona Company which rights Illegal Tickets. Take a good look at this RCW
    RCW 46.61.275
    Reporting of certain speed zone violations — Subsequent law enforcement investigation.

    (1) A crossing guard who is eighteen years of age or older and observes a violation of RCW 46.61.235(5), 46.61.245(2), or 46.61.261(2) may prepare a written report on a form provided by the state patrol or another law enforcement agency indicating that a violation has occurred. A crossing guard or school official may deliver the report to a law enforcement officer of the state, county, or municipality in which the violation occurred, but not more than seventy-two hours after the violation occurred. The crossing guard must include in the report the time and location at which the violation occurred, the vehicle license plate number, and a description of the vehicle involved in the violation.

    (2) The law enforcement officer may initiate an investigation of the reported violation after receiving the report described in subsection (1) of this section by contacting the owner of the motor vehicle involved in the reported violation and requesting the owner to supply information identifying the driver. If, after an investigation, the law enforcement officer is able to identify the driver and has reasonable cause to believe a violation of RCW 46.61.235(5), 46.61.245(2), or 46.61.261 (2) has occurred, the law enforcement officer shall prepare a notice of traffic infraction and have it served upon the driver of the vehicle.
    If I am reading this correctly this also applies to RED LIGHT CAMERAS and Speed Control Cameras as well for the Ability to Identify the Driver for the issuing of the citation which makes every Red Light and Speeding Camera Ticket ILLEGAL.

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You can reach Travis Baker at tvisb@wavecable.com

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