Outdoor Digital Signage – Are Digital Billboards a Hazard to Drivers?

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

With the growth of outdoor digital signage across along roadsides in many cites, concerns have been growing about the potential dangers LED, LCD and plasma screens pose when they are used as digital billboards.

From New York’s Time Square to London’s Piccadilly Circus, digital signage is now cropping up everywhere and if the influence of the USA follows its normal path, digital billboards will soon be cropping up along roads and expressways worldwide.

However, already in the USA these new digital billboards are causing controversy with some campaigners suggesting that these outdoor digital billboards are a dangerous distraction for drivers with some hardline safety campaigners suggesting they should be outlawed.

The trouble with the debate on the possible distraction to drivers that digital signage can pose is that to date there has not been any research conducted on the affects of LED billboards, LCD screens and other digital advertising on motorists.

However, to critics, digital billboards are as seen as big a distraction as mobile phones and, claim the campaigners, unlike mobile phones, roadside digital advertising cannot be switched off.

However, the outdoor digital signage industry argues that roadside digital billboards are no more dangerous than standard roadside advertising and that any examples of accidents caused by digital signage are only anecdotal.

And for every example of a traffic collision caused by a driver distracted by roadside digital advertising, the outdoor digital signage can cite a similar incident with static billboards (an infamous static bra advertisement is alleged to have caused dozens of accidents in the UK).

The digital signage industry also argues that to date, despite their being little legislation describing what content can be displayed, the industry as a matter of convention doesn’t use moving images in roadside digital advertising.

And its self-regulatory moves like this which may prevent restrictive legislation governing roadside digital advertising and billboards, although, it will only take one serious incident or an irresponsible implantation for the entire industry to fall under restrictive rules governing outdoor digital signage use.

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