Council to crack down on trailer advertising

Advertisements on parked trailers on roads, road shoulders, footpaths and nature strips will be banned come March 1 2018.
Advertisements on parked trailers on roads, road shoulders, footpaths and nature strips will be banned come March 1 2018.

Kempsey Shire Council will begin a campaign targeting trailers parked in road reserves for advertising purposes following changes to the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). As of March 1 2018 it will be illegal to use trailers parked on roads to advertise.

The changes to the SEPP include:

  • Banning advertisements on parked trailers on roads, road shoulders, footpaths and nature strips, excluding advertising associated with the primary use of the trailer, e.g. tradies trailer and public authorities
  • Requiring consent for displaying signage on trailers parked on private land in view from roads, road shoulders footpaths and nature strips
  • Allowing advertising in transport corridors permissible with consent from the Planning Minister or delegate, across NSW.

The change to ban trailers advertising; will come into effect on 1 March.  All other changes came into effect on 29 November 2017.

Why have these changes occurred?

The changes to planning rules for outdoor advertising and signage will improve road safety and reduce driver distractions, a statement on the SEPP website reads.

During consultation, safety and amenity concerns were raised about roadside advertising trailers blocking motorists’ vision and distracting drivers. By reducing the types of roadside trailer advertising currently on our roads, we’ll minimise risks to drivers, the statement said.

Council’s manager of development assessment, Erin Fuller, said the decision to take action comes in response to a proliferation of trailer advertising across the local government area.

"There are concerns associated with this form of advertising because it can create hazards by distracting motorists and blocking their vision, as well as impacting on visual amenity,” Ms Fuller said.

Recent legislative changes by the State Government will see trailer advertising on roads, road shoulders, footpaths and nature strips banned altogether from 1 March however the changes do not apply to advertising that is associated with the primary use of a trailer, such as a tradesman using a trailer in the course of their work.

Kempsey Shire residents took to the Argus Facebook page to voice their reactions.

“Bit of a joke really. We should be promoting our local businesses. How is trailer advertising any different to huge buses covered in advertising or taxi and trade vehicles? To say it's distracting to motorists or visually intrusive is a bit lame.” one commenter stated.

However another commenter disagreed, saying: “We, like a lot of other local businesses, spend a small fortune on advertising and if it costs us for the privilege to put ourselves out there, then it should cost everyone. How many other signs are there throughout the Macleay that do not comply with KSC DCP 25 “Advertising Signs in Kempsey Shire”? They’re everywhere.”

Warning letters will be sent to advertising trailer owners during a two-week grace period before enforcement action begins.

“Under NSW legislation, the use of a trailer as an advertising structure parked without approval attracts a fine of $1500 for individuals and $3,000 for businesses,” Ms Fuller said.