Inside Opinion

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Tag: digital billboards


Study finds digital billboards more dangerous than we thought

A front-page story in Friday’s USA Today is giving billboard haters fresh ammunition.

According to the article, the Scenic America organization is citing a new Swedish study as showing that digital billboards are more distracting than previously thought, holding drivers’ gazes far longer than deemed safe – more than two seconds.

A 2006 Virginia Tech study for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Scenic America says, “found that anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road for more than two seconds greatly increases the risk of a crash.  The study also found that nearly 80 percent of all crashes involved driver inattention just prior to (within three seconds of) the crash.” Read more »


Digital signs: Banned elsewhere, coming to Tacoma

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

All over America, cities and even some states (see box) have banned digital billboards due to concerns about driver distractions and nighttime light pollution.

Yet they’ll be coming to Tacoma streets in the near future in an agreement the city struck last summer with Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns almost all the traditional billboards scattered throughout the city.

It’s easy to see what Clear Channel gets out of the agreement that would end its lawsuit against the city’s admirable effort to reduce the number of billboards. Clear Channel will be able to replace its somewhat profitable regular billboards with a lesser number of enormously profitable digital signs. The settlement was approved last summer by the City Council in a hurry-up fashion that kept the public and media out of the loop. Read more »