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March 20, 2023

Letter: Follow the studies on digital billboards

Please reject any appeals to change the existing city code that regulates electronic billboards. They are a major distraction.

The outdoor advertising industry has funded many studies trying to show that the signs are safe, but there are other groups showing that there is too much driver distraction.

A study published in the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention, 2021, concludes that digital billboards attract and hold the gazes of drivers for far longer than a threshold that previous studies have shown to be dangerous. This study found that drivers looked at digital billboards significantly longer than they did at other signs on the same stretch of road, with the digital signs often taking a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds. With 8 seconds per message, this could be very dangerous and distracting.

Another federal study from 2016 shows a 25% increase in accidents from digital billboards.

These formal studies validate what common sense tells us!

David Matuszak


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