Handbills, the nuisance factor

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It’s happened to everyone. Returning to a vehicle to find handbills left on the windshield.

After heading into the store and procuring items for the day’s shopping trip, you push your cart to your vehicle, load up and attempt to head home.

Just as soon as you are in your vehicle, you see it. A handbill mounted beneath the windshield wiper.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Now the conundrum; do you get out of the car and remove the obstruction, or just leave it there and attempt to make your way home by peering over the paper?

If the decision was to remove the handbill, litter conscious people, like myself, will throw the view-obstructing nuisance in the back seat for later disposal. However, not everyone is litter conscious. The handbill could end up as a ball on the ground as an act of defiance.

While it has been some time since I’ve dealt with this problem, for some reason the few experiences I have had still resonate. I remember being annoyed that someone had placed something on my vehicle, without my permission. Lucky for me Picayune has an ordinance against the practice.

Picayune is not the only city to take strife with the placement of advertising on personal vehicles in public places.

An Internet search will show that numerous other municipalities have enacted similar ordinances. Picayune’s ordinance states, “No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street, or other public place within the city. Nor shall any person hand out or distribute or sell any commercial handbill in any public place.”

Section 12 of the ordinance states, “no person shall throw or deposit any commercial handbill in or upon any vehicle.”

I enjoy not having to consider throwing a paper ball on the ground in an act of defiance, or to instead put it in the back seat and deal with it later.