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Great Neck Plaza may ban vehicles with ads from business district

Great Neck Plaza area on July 17, 2017.

Great Neck Plaza area on July 17, 2017. Officials are eyeing legislation banning drivers from parking a vehicle with display ads in the village's business district or on public property. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Officials in Great Neck Plaza are considering legislation to ban parked vehicles with display advertising from some village roadways to lessen the potential for distracted driving.

Mayor Jean Celender introduced draft legislation last week that prohibits drivers from parking a vehicle with display ads in the village’s business district or on public property. Any signs attached or affixed to a vehicle and used primarily for advertising or used to direct people to the location of a business would be prohibited under the proposed measure.

The ban would cover Grace Avenue and South Middle Neck, Middle Neck, Cutter Mill and Great Neck roads.

Celender said that she has seen vehicle display ads around the village and that many times they are parked at the edge of pedestrian crosswalks. The ads are big and eye-catching, she said, and could cause trouble.

“I’ve been talking to the board about this for some time and I see a situation that, I think, is very distracting to motorists,” Celender said. “This village has had a lot of congestion issues and traffic safety issues, and I think this is one more thing that adds to driver distraction.”

Celender presented a draft law to the village’s board on Thursday. Any advertising signs required by law or placed on public transportation, such as buses, would be exempt from the proposed measure. Signs advertising the sale of a vehicle are also exempt.

Violators of the proposed law will be fined up to $300 for the first offense, $600 for the second offense, $900 for three or more offenses, as well as up to 15 days in jail.

Deputy Mayor Ted Rosen said the legislation should include language that says violators will be notified of their offense the same way authorities issue parking tickets.

Trustees tabled the draft legislation for further review. The board could vote on the law during its next meeting on Aug. 16.

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