Car flier rules not uniform everywhere

Andy Steinke

Jason Tollers is a self-proclaimed independent businessman who spends part of his day in the office and part of his day working the streets.

He works for an international marketing company called Mac Incorporated, and makes all his own business decisions.

He’s also one of the people responsible for leaving fliers on your car windows.

Tollers said he takes about four hours every day to put fliers on cars in the Twin Cities, trying to recruit people to work for his company.

He occasionally visits the University and its surrounding neighborhoods, posting pink sticky notes reading “Need More Cash?” to “any car that has a window that it can stick on.”

He tags every car he passes on the street and isn’t afraid to wander into a parking lot to put fliers there too.

But are there restrictions on where businesses like Jimmy John’s or businessmen like Jason Tollers can put fliers on cars?

Luther Krueger, 1st Precinct crime prevention specialist for Minneapolis police, said there are no specific city ordinances against posting fliers to cars, but there are some places where cars can’t be stuck with them.

“Many parking lots prohibit placing things on vehicles and they have an affidavit filed with us,” Krueger said.

People attempting to put fliers on vehicles in those lots can be ticketed by police for trespassing.

“If the owner says ‘This lot is not for fliering’ and they don’t leave, then they are trespassing,” Krueger said.

Police have to catch the person putting fliers on cars in the act, however, if they are going to ticket them.

For parking lots and ramps without affidavits filed with the city of Minneapolis to restrict people from putting fliers on cars, there isn’t much police can do.

“Unless they have signs up and an affidavit, then we won’t do anything about it,” Krueger said.

Tollers said he has entered parking lots that don’t allow him to put fliers on cars, but left when he was informed that he was trespassing.

Krueger said if the person leaves when they are told they aren’t allowed to put fliers on cars there, then it isn’t a crime.

The restrictions for sticking fliers on cars on campus are slightly different than the citywide regulations, University Deputy police Chief Steve Johnson said.

“On campus, parking services has a policy against it,” he said.

According to the policy, flier distribution in all University parking areas is prohibited.

That would include University ground lots, parking ramps and all parking meters on school grounds.

Areas outside nonacademic buildings, such as athletic facilities, are also distribution-free zones, according to the policy.

Most people, however, don’t want the unsolicited fliers that are left on their cars, and many fliers end up on the ground near where they were distributed.

Krueger said police don’t have time to watch for littering, but it’s against Minneapolis city ordinance – a misdemeanor that carries a $175 fine.

The person throwing the flier on the street would be the one ticketed, Krueger said, not the business that distributed it.

“If it’s your job to drum up business with these fliers, it’s not your fault that they throw them on the ground,” Krueger said.