Locals may have noticed a garish vehicle driving in downtown Victoria last week: a delivery truck plastered on three sides by screens emitting an advertisement.
The advertisement was for a rheumatoid arthritis drug called Simponi Golimumab, likely in town to accompany a conference held by the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) from Feb. 26-29.
A photo of the truck was posted online, causing many people to question the safety of it as a distraction to other drivers.
Black Press Media reached out to the CRA about the ads, which were apparently not condoned by organizers.
“I can confirm that the CRA Annual Scientific Meeting sanctioned events are only taking place on site at the Fairmont Empress and Victoria Conference Centre,” said Kevin Baljnauth, marketing and communications manager with the CRA in an emailed statement. “Any digital mobile advertising is not sanctioned by the CRA or part of our meeting’s scientific agenda.”
Besides being bright and tacky, the ad truck is completely illegal under B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act.
“Section 4.27 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act Regulations sets out the conditions for the use of an illuminated sign on a vehicle. These conditions are in place to ensure that illuminated signs do not cause drivers of other vehicles to be distracted by the bright light emitted from these signs,” said the Ministry of Transportation in a statement to Black Press Media.
“In this particular case, the vehicle is operating with three illuminated signs (one on each side, one on rear). This operation is contrary to the regulations which allow for only one illuminated sign on a vehicle. For reference, the regulations allow for one sign that must be mounted on the roof of the vehicle, must be illuminated only to the sides of the vehicle and not to the front or rear, and the illuminated sign must not be more than 3,000 cm squared on each side.”
Members of the ministry’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) branch tracked down the vehicle to enforce the laws, fining the driver $109.