The Los Angeles Police Department is seriously considering using digital billboard ads to stop distracted driving. While that may well be an innovative idea to target the message to the demographic that most often is guilty of distracted driving, it does seem to lack an element of common sense.
It seems to be counterintuitive to try and teach drivers not to stare at their cellphones, tablets, and other e-devices while driving, and instead expect them to stare at a digital billboard while they are driving. Staring at a digital billboard while driving is distracted driving.
The campaign is supposed to have two parts, with the first emphasizing that drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings. The second part is aimed at reminding hit-and-run drivers to stay at the scene of an accident.
Apparently, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 99 traffic-related deaths in LA in 2012 and 20,000 hit-and-run accidents. The numbers have grown every year with no sign of stopping anytime soon.
AT&T says seven in ten drivers use a smartphone while behind the wheel, with 10 percent conducting a video chat and 61 percent texting. A brightly lit-up, highly visible billboard will indeed capture a driver’s attention, and when they look at it and get involved in an accident, what happens next?