Are billboards a driving distraction?

Those who sell digital signboard space want more roadside billboards to capture the attention of drivers. But, some say such billboards cause distracted driving accidents.  Those who have seen drivers get into accidents as a result of distracted sign watching oppose more such billboards.

Digital billboard proponents say the signboards need to be plentiful in the largest cities in Texas because they attract more customers for local businesses. However, law enforcement, who see many accidents resulting from distracted driving due to looking at billboards, disagree with adding more to the cityscape.

While there are billboards in some Texas cities, digital sign distractions are banned in Austin, Houston and Fort Worth. San Antonio allowed 12 billboards to be put up, but they no longer allow more to be erected. The only major city to permit these signs is Dallas, which has at least 50 billboards.

Do other Texas cities allow digital signboards? According to the TxDOT who hands out permits for billboards, say that other Texas cities do not allow billboards. Approximately 90 percent of cities in Texas do not allow digital billboards. Many other states limit or ban the erection of billboards. Hawaii, Maine, Alaska and Vermont are among the states that do not allow billboards of any kind.

Distracted driving is already a major issue in every state. Do lawmakers need to allow yet another form of distraction on the roads?

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