Digital Billboards in Jeopardy

Digitalbillboardsx-large
The one universal truth we know about the future — from sci-fi movies as diverse as “Blade Runner” to “Back to the Future Part II” — is America will get many, many more electronic billboards. This future may be in jeopardy, though, as many cities ban or place moratoriums on what they think is an external driving distraction.

Digital billboards change images every four to 10 seconds, which opponents say takes drivers’ attention away from the road for “unsafe periods of time,” according to a review by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Evidence of this is not quite conclusive, though. A number of studies financed by the billboard industry say the changing advertisements are not a distraction and comply with federal guidelines. In 2007, the Federal Highway Administration relaxed its rules on digital billboards, finding that they complied with the 1965 Highway Beautification Act that bans “flashing” or “moving” lights.

Since 2007, the number of digital billboards has doubled to roughly 1,800 and 39 states currently allow them, although some individual cities sometimes revolt. Denver is the latest to do so, moving to an outright ban.

The Highway Administration hopes to get definitive answers about the distraction question by conducting a study using eye-tracking devices inside volunteers’ vehicles to see if those drivers look at the billboards, and if so, for how long. The study will be completed by the summer.

More Cities Ban Digital Billboards (USA Today)

By Stephen Markley | March 23, 2010 | Comments (2)
Tags: Safety

Comments 

boeingboy

I would love to see a ban on tacky LED billboards and signs.

Dan

I first saw one of these 5 or 10 years ago and immediately thought they were incredibly dangerous and should be banned. Glad to see some places are finally coming around to realizing the same thing.

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com