Rules of the Road: Are there regulations on sandwich boards along roads?


Question: Are there any city or state laws that regulate how or where a business may display temporary advertising signs, such as a sandwich board placed along the side of the road?

Answer: Yes, in most areas there are. They are governed by the respective jurisdictions and their ordinances.

Q: At some intersections, such as Slater and Haxton roads, sometimes the light will not turn green when approached when the cross traffic is totally empty. Is it legal to disregard the light when it is obviously malfunctioning? I have waited some times as much as five minutes just to see if it might turn, without it doing so.

A: I don't know if that light is on a sensor system (loops in the roadway) or if it is on a timer system. If you have continually had problems in this area, have you tried to contact public works about it? I believe that intersection is probably under the control of Whatcom County Public Works Maintenance and Operations. At other intersections, it's best to contact the proper jurisdiction's public works or roads division.


Rules of the Road is a regular column with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices.

Answers come from David Wright, a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now serving on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.

To ask a question, go to

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service