It’s like the famous Hollywood sign, only smaller and, apparently, illegal

Mere weeks separate us from the 2020 Presidential Election that sees Democrat candidate, and former Vice President, Joe Biden try to end President Donald Trump’s tenure at the White House. The battle has proven to be fierce, to say the least, but the most recent chapter doesn’t even involve the two candidates directly.

A Trump supporter’s decision to erect a sign that says ’TRUMP’ in big, white letters had local authorities knock on his door within hours due to the sign’s size, location, and proximity to the 405 highway. Trump supporters say it’s a clear case of ’socialism in action’ but there’s little more than meets the eye in this story.

A big, white Trump sign can actually be distracting

Social media channels have been flooded recently with posts regarding a strange happening over in Los Angeles, California. Purportedly, someone decided to put up a sign that mirrored in style the legendary Hollywood sign overlooking L.A. from the Hollywood Hills.

This new, smaller sign, however, said 'Trump' in all caps and was located on a hilly area within the confines of this person's private property.

You are, of course, entitled to do just about anything you want inside your own property unless your actions fall the wrong side of state laws. Posts on the situation, such as the one you can see before, claim that the man’s sign was taken down by state officials soon after being put in place because it, apparently, was visible by drivers going down the 805 highway and officials deemed it to be a distraction.

Many such viral posts, as USA Today found out, come to the conclusion that the decision by local authorities to take down the sign is an actual case of abuse with one user writing that this "should enrage and concern EVERYONE no matter what side you’re on," because, as another user claimed, state officials willfully ignore the "8,000+ billboards on L.A. freeways," adding that one should "obey or be destroyed".

The taking down of this particular sign, however, isn’t as straightforward as it may seem upon first glance. While President Trump himself tweeted about the whole thing saying that if he wins in California it would spell the end of "blackouts, shutdowns, ridiculous forest fires, or water “rationing” (coming soon)," state officials said, through the voice of California Department of Transportation’s Chief Public Information Officer Lauren Wonder, that "the sign did not meet state regulations for temporary political signs within view of a state highway."

Some users responded to that by saying the sign isn’t "political" because it has "nothing to do with [Trump’s] campaign" but, it any case, it did prove to be potentially hazardous because drivers heading northbound on the 405 Freeway would slow down to snap pictures of the sign which was first reported as a "traffic hazard" last week. On top of that, those reporting the sign to the authorities apparently feared it could lead to a fire as the dry bush area surrounding it is not far from where the Skirball Fire of 2017 took place or the Getty Fire of 2019.

Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read More
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