Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: May 14th, 2012 | 0 Comments
Salt Lake City Council, in Utah, has voted unanimously to ban all roadside outdoor digital signs saying they pose a public safety risk.
The ban follows strict laws already in place in Utah governing digital signage and electronic billboards. All digital signage content has to remain static for at least eight seconds in Utah, according to state law, while the brightness is strictly controlled.
The citywide ban comes into force despite there being no solid evidence to suggest roadside digital signage poses a threat to drivers. Indeed, in Europe, some of the largest digital billboards run alongside the motorways and main routes into cities like London, with no rise in reported accidents at those sites.
Leading Salt Lake sign providers, YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) said they accepted the need for proper regulation but that an outright is not good for their business or the local community.
YESCO also suggest that outdoor digital signage has some unique advantages over other media. The company says they joined forces with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the FBI, to provide AMBER Alerts, Most Wanted adverts, and other public service
“Seconds count when an AMBER Alert is issued and electronic billboards are the best way and sometimes the only way to show motorists a picture of an abducted child. The Utah AMBER Alert Plan relies on these billboards to be available 24/7 so we can bring every abducted child home safely,” said Paul Murphy, Utah AMBER Alert Coordinator.
Jared Johnson, YESCO Outdoor Media’s Director of Real Estate has participated in numerous public meetings since the ban was first proposed in late 2010. He said: ‘We’ve worked diligently with the Salt Lake City Planning Commission to develop reasonable regulations for electronic billboards, but we haven’t made much progress. Based on my observation at the public hearings on this issue, there have been no complaints recorded, and therefore no justification for a ban or severe regulation.’
However, the council still unanimously voted through the van last week.
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