Mobile billboard ban gets another chance next Tuesday

The city’s proposed mobile billboard ban will have another chance to be discussed by city officials next week.

Alderman Bob Fioretti introduced the ban, which would put a $5,000 fine on any vehicle primarily used for advertising purposes, during September’s city council meeting.

The next step for the ban is to be heard by the Committee on License and Consumer Protection, but so far, two committee meetings have gone by without a mention of it.

The ban was left off September’s committee agenda and withdrawn at the last minute from the October meeting. Fioretti says his office needs more time to gather expert testimony to support the proposed ordinance.

Fioretti did not return calls today inquiring whether the ban will come up at the committee’s Nov. 18 meeting.

If the ban is passed, it will almost certainly be challenged in court. A judge overturned a similar ban in September in Collier County, Fla., saying the measure was an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech.

City experts on commercial speech assert that Chicago’s proposed ban is also a unconstitutional.

Fioretti says his team researched the issue, and he has confidence it pass through city council and become law.

The Committee on License and Consumer Protection meets 11 a.m. Nov. 18 at in room 201-A of the City Council Building, 121 N. LaSalle St.