Pinellas Commission to Hold Workshop on Distracting Digital Billboards
The workshop at 9:30am on October 27 will decide if the Commission will follow Billboard lobbyist assertions that LCD Billboards that change every six seconds are not a safety distraction to motorists. Or will they follow the advice of the County Attorney that recommended waiting for a definitive Federal study of the subject due out in a year or two?
A major report has been issued that for the first time recommends policies to improve the safety of digital billboards by severely limiting appropriate locations for the signs and establishing new criteria governing sign behavior, including the frequency with which the brightly illuminated electronic images should be allowed to change. Written by renowned human-factors expert Jerry Wachtel, the report, Safety Impacts of the Emerging Digital Display Technology for Outdoor Advertising Signs, was produced as a project of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
However the Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising representative asked the commission to take action now based on billboard industry sponsored studies that have been criticized as being biased. Two Pinellas Commissioners seemed to support taking the requested action which would relax hard fought 2003 settlement agreements with these billboard companies.
Visit scenicpinellas.org to learn more about this issue. The site has an easy to use form via which you can send comments to each of the Pinellas County Commissioners.
(This information is provided by Scenic Pinellas, an affiliate of Scenic Florida.)
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