Digital Billboards

In response to:


Electronic billboards called another distraction


The link above is about three years old, but read it anyway and see if it still applies. It is about digital signage on the roadways. Electronic billboards. Should there be laws to outlaw them? Are they really distractions to motorists? What effect would banning them have on the digital signage industry? Is banning something that may seem dangerous the best thing to do? Don’t digital signs save paper? Give consumers more up-to-date information? Read and comment.




Technology is advancing in more ways than one. With all the pros of useful technology, there can also be cons. Electronic billboards are a new wave of PR and marketing in the new era. With the idea of having more advertisements, and less use of paper, marketing departments of every industry are jumping to use them. Yes, electronic billboards are great for getting drivers attention on the road, but are they too good at their job?

After reading this article by Matt Richtel, Electronic billboards called another distraction, Richtel claims that drivers are too distracted by these glowing billboards, and it is becoming a safety hazard.  There are no studies that show that electronic billboards are any more a hazard to drivers than traditional billboards. These billboards are “television on a stick” and their job is to distract drivers, whether it’s for a second, or a dangerous 5 seconds is the question.  The arguments is based on that drivers are not allowed to text and drive because it is dangerous and distracting, how would looking at a billboard with the glow of Times Square be any different. Moderation is everything. If you are using advertisements that are videos, or flickering lights, it is definitely a safety hazard to all drivers. However, if they are just portraying a similar image that would be printed on a billboard, I do not see the harm or distraction that it imposes on drivers that is any more than traditional printed billboards. It allows for more advertisement on one billboard rather than only one. Plus, you don’t need to have crews of men constantly manually changing the advertisement.  It gives consumers instant information, which in many cases is extremely helpful. Amber alerts and traffic alerts are just a few ways that digital billboards could drastically make a difference. There should be laws and regulations on these billboards that keep advertisements from getting carried away.  With safety guidelines that keep advertisements in check, I think electronic billboards can be very useful.

Anything can distract a motorist, but that doesn’t mean we need to ban useful technology because of it.  I understand the concern from the critics of the use of this technology, if not used properly it can be dangerous to drivers. It will be interesting to see what further studies come out with on this issue. 


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